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What are Windsor-Essex's most iconic foods?

What food makes you think of home?

For some, it might be their mother's beef stew or their father's smoked ribs.

WindsorEats wanted to know what foods are distinctly local, and not surprisingly, Windsor's pizza came in number one.

"We wanted to know what Windsorites thought about what our city's most iconic foods would be," explained co-owner of WindsorEats Adriano Ciotoli. "Everyone has an opinion on what that might be, and it can involve some pretty heated discussions."

WindsorEats took online submissions through April to come up with its list.

Ontario Culinary will tell you Windsor Pizza is, in fact, a thing. What sets it apart? A couple of things. First, pepperoni is shredding and not sliced. Local pizza lovers seem to like canned mushrooms instead of fresh ones, and finally, it's all about the cheese. Many pizzerias in the city use locally-made Galati Cheese. The Galati Cheese Company only distributes its products as far as London, so it is unique.

Starting at number eight is sweet corn. Sold from roadside vegetable stands across the county, Lafferty's corn is a truly Windsor-Essex experience.

Honey Balls came in seventh.

BlackburnNews.com file photo.

Number seven on the list is a tradition in Dearborn, Michigan, that was adopted by the local population. The paczki, a delight only enjoyed on Fat Tuesday, is loaded with calories. The average chocolate one has 452, almost a quarter of the daily recommended intake for the average woman.

Robbie's Gourmet Sausages came in number six. The Caribbean-style chorizo was the overall winner at the Canadian Sausage Making Competition in 2012.

Lake Erie Perch came in fifth, and it's no mystery why. The Great Lakes have a fishing industry worth $7-billion a year, and there's nowhere else in the world to get a Lake Erie Perch.

Shawarma came in fourth on the list.

Not only do Windsor-Essex residents enjoy fine food, but we also love our whiskey. Going back to the 19th-Century it's been distilled in the region.

The Penalty Box's signature dish was second on the list, Chicken Delight. Wrapped in a warm pita with the restaurant's signature sauce, it's a delicacy that's been around for a quarter-century.

"It's a great way to get people talking about some of the amazing local dishes we have here," concluded Ciotoli.

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