Last night I returned from Buffalo, where I spent the last week and a half. I didn't have many opportunities to run around rummaging for local culture, but I did discover Buffalo's traditional sponge candy.
Sponge candy is a chunk of caramelized sugar with a dry sponge consistency, covered in milk chocolate. See this site for a description of the candy. Sponge candy is similar to Australia's Violet Crumble candy bar and the Canadian Crunchie candy bar, though all the versions I tried came in diminutive little squares far smaller than standard-size candy bars. It's a delicious candy that crunches and then dissolves quickly in the mouth. I tried three varieties of sponge candy while in Buffalo. The first of these—the in-house version created by the Wegman's supermarket chain—piqued my interest. It led me on to superior varieties of sponge candy manufactured by Fowlers and Bella Mia. I'd give the edge to Bella Mia if I had to choose a favorite. Bella Mia's Tom Margarucci filled me in on the sponge candy phenomenon. He stressed that the candy is only created by five or six local companies, and on a seasonal basis.
And while I'm at it, I should make note of The Chef's Table, a catering company in the Buffalo area that sells ridiculously good key lime pies. I've had more immediately flavorful key lime pies in my day, but Chef's Table's thick layer of whipped cream with bits of lime zest takes their specimen to a different stratosphere altogether.