So I noticed that on two previous threads (the greatest city in the world, and is your city a world class city) that cuisine became a point of substantial pride as well as contention.
Being from the New York Region I feel that culturally food is at if not close to the heart of the New York experience. My time in Santa Fe shared that same bond between a city identity and food, Green Chile is core to the identity of New Mexicans (Note: in the Southwest Chile is spelled with an "e" unless you're from Texas).
In Metro New York things like the Diner culture are an amazing blend of Greek, Italian and Jewish cultures, having the best pizza is a matter of pride (sorry Chicago), and neighborhoods live or die based on their concentration of ethnic restaurants (Jackson Heights in Queens is a prime example of a revitalization tied to becoming a little India).
Class and overall city attitudes seem to play a part as well. Blue Collar Chicago has it's Vienna dogs, Buffalo NY it's Buffalo Wings, White collar San Francisco Sushi and Smoothie bars.
Is food core to the urban experience or just something that comes hand in hand with cosmopolitan living? What foods define your city/region? (Note this doesn't have to be limited to just food, perhaps a wine or a beer culture can substitute similar.)