When looking at a map, the tiny part of New York that sticks out into the Atlantic, right below Connecticut, is a place called Long Island. This unique blend of people makes up two counties on that island: Nassau, which is the closest to the city, and Suffolk, which includes much of central Long Island and the Hamptons. It's an interesting cataclysm of diverse food styles and cuisines but it's not a place that many people know for its food - which is why we're working on changing that.


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New York City was part one of this three-part foodie series and while it does get all the credit and glory for New York's most iconic dishes, as a whole, Long Island is often the neglected part of the state. With it being home to many vineyards, a countless number of beachside communities, and farms that provide their own local gourmet goods, to forget about all Long Island has to offer would be like forgetting about a third of a state (literally). So, what can we find on this island, which isn't really an island because it's connected by a bridge, but technically... Oh, you get the point. Let's talk food.

Sausage And Peppers

The fact is that Long Island is home to many Italian restaurants and many Italian-American families, in general. This is why visitors to the island can probably find an Italian restaurant in every town and, in the case of larger towns, multiple Italian restaurants - and everyone has a preference. While sausage and peppers can be found in these restaurants, it's also something that's commonly made at home or something people can look forward to at town fairs or festivals. You can tell you're near a good sausage and peppers cart by the smell: that undeniable mix of oregano, grilled peppers and onions, and marinara sauce.

Buttered (Kaiser) Roll

Walk into any deli and you'll find a selection of buttered rolls. In fact, walk into any convenience store, such as 7-Eleven (or Sevs, as it's called by locals) and you'll find them pre-packaged and ready to sell. It's the most boring combination of ingredients - a roll with butter - but, for some reason, it's the breakfast of champions. If you don't have time for a bacon, egg, and cheese, and aren't in the mood for a bagel, this is the only other go-to that's Long Island-approved.

Ralph's Italian Ices

During the summertime, there is no other frozen treat shop that's worth talking about. Ralph's Italian Ices is, and always will be, an iconic Long Island staple. While many who aren't from the island may have seen these ices in their local supermarket, getting Italian ice from the source is an entirely different experience. With a menu that takes about ten minutes to read because it has so many flavors, and the option to mix scoops of flavors, there's no better way to end a hot summer's day. And, of course, everyone has their own personal flavor combination.

Italian Bakery Cookies

Italian bakeries are all over Long Island. There's something about them that makes everyone a little reminiscent of their childhood, and it's probably the fact that every Sunday, a white box with a red and white string tied around it would be on the table. And, inside the box, a broad assortment of cookies would be waiting to be eaten after breakfast (which consisted of bagels, of course). And if you didn't make sure to grab the rainbow cookies before someone else did, well... there was always next weekend.

Garlic Knots And Calzones

We're coming full-circle with Long Island's abundance of Italian food. In this case, pizza is to New York City what calzones and garlic knots are to Long Island. And if a calzone isn't at least on its way to being the same size as a person's head and stuffed to the brim with ricotta cheese and mozzarella (plus whatever ingredients a person didn't want on their pizza), then it's sure to get criticism. As far as the garlic knots go, if they're not dripping with oil, fluffy on the inside and golden brown on the outside, and are without visible pieces of garlic, then they're not really garlic knots... they're garlic 'nots.'

Massive Heroes Or Deli Sandwiches

The devotion to hero shops on Long Island is real and, once again, everyone has a favorite. These shops will specialize in anything from a good Italian sub with oil and vinegar to a roast beef that's dripping with cheese and au jus. And no, it's not like Subway - a hero sandwich means the whole footlong hero. When it comes to a deli sandwich, you'd better walk in just as hungry because even if you're only ordering some peppered turkey with provolone and mayo on wheat, you can bet your paycheck on the fact that you'll get a sandwich with roughly a six-inch thickness. Oh, and if you're not getting an iced tea or a bottle of soda with it, your order is only halfway done.

Next: Forget Napa And Give Long Island Wine Country A Try