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Typical Foods of Every State/Region of US?

  • c

My wife and I and some friends have decided that we are going to start getting together once a week to have a meal. The twist is that we are going to try to have the theme for every week's meal be a particular state (if we can get info on them all. If not, then we'll do regions.) I just wondered if all of you chowhounds out there could share with me some typical meals and foods from your state. It's hard to find that information on the internet, believe it or not.

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  1. check out roadfood.com

    certainly their original book road food by jane and michael stern would be a good starting point.

    1. For Massachusetts, you could have baked beans, fried clams, brown bread, clam chowder, cod, indian pudding. For Maine ( or the NE area in general), you could serve lobster,and some kind of blueberry dessert.

      1 Reply
      1. re: macca

        For Rhode Island, add jonnycakes (sometimes misspelled johnnycakes), cabinets, iced coffee (the home of iced coffee).

        Apple pie (with Vermont cheddar, for breakfast, of course) has its original home in New England, which was the home of baking methods in the colonies.

        As explained in R.H. Fisher's "Albion's Seed," the various colonies of the USA had dominant settlement patterns by regional British groups, which brought their regional cookways with them. To which were added the important cookways of Indians, Africans, Dutch, Germans and French, then Hispania, et cet.

        The VERY crude equation of cookways (which also track certain accent patterns, but that's another story):

        1. South (starting in Virginia/Maryland, then the Carolinas, et cet.) = southern/western England = frying, roasting and grilling; seasoned well; with lots of vegetables.

        2. New England (then Greater New England, across the upper Midwest to the West Coast) = eastern England = baking; plainly prepared; rich in legumes.

        3. Mid-Atlantic = English northern Midlands, plus the Rhine Valley folk = boiling; lots of pastes and dumplings

        4. Appalachia = Scotland & Ulster = a mix of their rural ways (boiling and roasting), with a heavy emphasis on porridges (now corn instead of oats or barley) and buttermilk, et cet.

      2. Maryland = steamed crabs

        2 Replies
        1. re: cbauer

          and traditional maryland crab cakes
          and softshell crab sandwiches (bite their legs off)
          and raw oysters fresh shucked
          and silverado corn on the cob
          and (i don't get this at all) sauerkraut with thanksgiving turkey!

          1. re: Loren3

            sauerkraut w/ turkey? Must be the big German influence in the Baltimore area. See, e.g., Moravia Road.

        2. Central NY has several local delicacies. I do think, though, that because of the Internet, chain restaurants, and a more transient society, many of these foods have leaked beyond their regional bases. The perfect example is Buffalo Wings.

          Nevertheless, here's a small sampling of Upstate NY specialties:

          Binghamton: spiedies (marinated cubes of meat, traditionally pork or venison, skewered and grilled and served on a slice of italian bread.

          Syracuse: salt potatoes (very small potatoes boiled in brine served whole with melted butter)

          Utica: Utica Greens (escarole cooked in broth, then baked with breadcrumbs and cheese with any combination of several options: some salted meat, i.e. pancetta, prosciutto or salami, hot and/or sweet peppers, and cubes of roasted potatoes).
          Utica also has Chicken Riggies (cubed chicken usually in a spicy vodka sauce with hot peppers served over rigatoni -- with many variations).

          16 Replies
          1. re: jbird17

            Do you have a recipe for Utica greens? I have been searching but nothing I've found comes close to what I've eaten there and what you describe. They are an amazing bitter/salty/spicy combination.

            1. re: Junie D

              I posted a recipe for Utica Greens on the home cooking board.

              Let your fellow central NY'ers know how it turns out!

              1. re: TC

                And don't forget:

                Salt potatoes
                Fish fry
                Cornell chicken bbq

                1. re: TC

                  You have made my day - thank you! I am actually a Northern Californian with in-laws in Syracuse and Rochester who don't make Utica greens. I've only had them in a restaurant. Every time we visit I look forward to fish on Fridays and salt potatoes, great bread, and of course my MIL's homemade pasta.

                  1. re: Junie D

                    Oh, and I can't forget Hoffman's and Heid's hot dogs, and those scary-looking white coneys with the strange buns.

                    1. re: Junie D

                      Those buns aren't so strange. They are New England style buns and can be found everywhere in New England. I prefer that style.

              2. re: jbird17

                I went to school in Syracuse. I miss salt potatoes!

                Also, don't forget hot and spicy cheese curds (much better that those of the upper midwest - apologies to Wisconsinites)

                1. re: jbird17

                  Fascinating first post that I happened to read - that I now live in Los Angeles but was born and raised in Central NY.

                  CNY was famous for firemens field days, during the summer months, back in the day. The delicacies served there were: salt potatoes, steamed clams, hot sausage sandwiches, manhattan and new england clam chowders, hamburgers and hot dogs. I should also mention white hots, which is another type of hot dog that was excellent, but a rare commodity.

                  One delicacy that is often overlooked is the half moon cookie. And real soft serve ice cream. Iced tea was only available between May and September!

                  1. re: TC

                    Do "scary white coneys" or "white hots" = Snappy Grillers?

                    1. re: MaspethMaven

                      Was googling Heid's today (daydreaming from my Boston desk about the pleasures of upstate New York in spring) and saw this post...

                      Yes, "scary white coneys" or "white hots" = Snappy Grillers!!!

                  2. re: jbird17

                    When I lived south of Albany, one of the most popular sandwiches seemed to be Pepperoni Parmigiana heros (or whatever they call them up there, I forget). Never had the nerve to try one; the secret apparently is to buy presliced pepperoni and boil it before adding sauce and mozz.

                    1. re: jbird17

                      what's a salt potato? is it beyond boiling potatoes in salted water?

                      1. re: rebs

                        Yeh. It comes from the fact the Syracuse was long a world-wide center for salt mining and shipping. Liverpool NY was in fact name to take advantage of the worldwide market for the famed Liverpool salt of CHeshire, England (the salt that people in India were forced to buy, and against which Gandhi led protests).

                        Link: http://www.answers.com/topic/salt-pot...

                      2. re: jbird17

                        Hello, in a previous life I lived in the southern tier/finger lakes area of NY and made a couple of thousand fresh fruit pies, everything done by hand. The apples there are unsurpassed both for variety and quality. cheers

                        1. re: jbird17

                          Ithaca: Grilled chicken first marinated in Cornell Barbeque Sauce. The aroma permeates their state parks all summer long. Heavenly!

                          1. re: jbird17

                            It's nice to see others appreciate the cuisine of Central NY, especially in light of the trashing it has gotten on the New York State board in the past.

                          2. Washington State --

                            Fried razor clams which you dug yourself ('cuz there's virtually no commercial clamming) cleaned and stashed in the freezer for the next family event. Creamed spinach, and new potatoes, buttered and parsleyed. Blackberry pie from the wild berries you picked and also kept in the freezer.

                            If razor clams are out of the question then fried oysters will have to do.

                            Makes me homesick just thinking about it.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Sharuf

                              Clams that you dig for yourself may be a unique food for Washington (and similar coastal states), but are hardly typical. I've lived in the state 15 years and haven't gathered clams yet.

                              Admittedly, 'unique' may be more of what the original poster had in mind - things that differentiate one state from another. What I typically eat has more to do with my tastes and interests, than with the state I live in or hail from.

                              Still fish and seafood, especially salmon, is a big part of Washington food 'culture', especially in the western lowlands. Salmon roasted on a cedar plank is a specialty (though I've never done it). Locally gathered berries might also viewed as unique (though the biggest blackberries are an invasive species). Washington is also known for its apple growing, though I don't know of any unique apple dishes.


                              1. re: paulj

                                You've never dug razor clams? It's a favorite family sport in WA and OR. BTW, they're pretty lively, so you don't "gather" them the way you might go after steamer clams with a rake - you have to pursue them down into the sandy surf.

                                Link: http://www.razorclams.com

                                Image: http://www.razorclams.com/cdiggers.jpg

                              2. re: Sharuf

                                Yeh, I grew up eating razor clams - though I never dug them. Last time I was in coastal Washington the restaurants had them, but they were from Alaska.

                              3. Pennsylvania has a number of regional cuisines, but if you want to have a Pittsburgh night, try either a nice salad or meat sandwich of some type, and then put fries on it (and if it's a sandwich, put coleslaw on it, too). Wedding soup is also very, very popular.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: klumppilston

                                  (Eastern) PA also has scrapple, soft pretzels, cheesesteaks...

                                2. New Jersey: Taylor ham, egg and cheese sandwiches on real hard rolls. :)

                                  California: burritos -- while that's technically Mexican, they're not so common in Mexico and they've been raised to an art form in California.

                                  Iowa: Maid-Rite (loose meats) sandwiches, deep-fried pork tenderloin sandwiches

                                  Minnesota: hotdish and bars (heh!)

                                  1. St. Louis, MO: Toasted Ravioli. I's meat-filled ravioli, dipped in egg and Italian breadcrumbs, then fried. Serve with Marinara sauce.
                                    Springfield, IL: The Horseshoe. Meat topped with french fries and a cheese sauce. Find one recipe at: http://www.cooking.com/recipes/static...

                                    Also, check your library for Real American Food by Jane & Michael Stern. It's exactly what you're looking for. Their recipe for REAL NY pizza is something this former New Yorker makes often.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Anne

                                      BTW, I just checked, Real American Food is available used on Amazon.com for less than $5.

                                      1. re: Anne

                                        half.com has it for as little as $2.50. I may have to get a copy. I think an updated book would be a great idea. I'm a small-time author myself for some local things, maybe some day I could go big-time and write a food book. I would love to do that. I'll put that on my list of other things I'll most likely never get done.

                                      2. re: Anne

                                        Toasted ravioli is something I've seen served in Italian restaurant cocktail lounges at Happy Hour, along with little pieces of pizza and miniature meatballs.

                                        1. re: Sharuf

                                          Toasted ravioli used to be popular in the Boston area in the 70's. Served as an app at most every restaurant.

                                      3. New Jersey....Taylor Ham also known as pork roll..Breakfast sandwich Pork Roll,fried egg and american cheese on a hard roll with salt, pepper and ketchup starts a lot of hearts in the Garden State....

                                        1. Another idea would be to post before each dinner on a specific state ... like this is what we are planning, any other ideas. It might draw out a few more ideas.

                                          The food timeline has great suggestions and ideas on how to find more information. Link is below.

                                          My own thoughts:

                                          Alaska – wild salmon, baked Alaska (I know, but still)

                                          California – artichokes, good salsa, burritos (made with sustainably raised meat, organic beans), good coffee, fresh fruit gallette, I agree with the other poster about burritos. While Cal-cuisine, cheese and wine come to mind, that is more Northern Cal in origin. Burritos span the state.

                                          Connecticut – good pizza, good hot dogs, grinders

                                          Florida – Orange juice, Cubano sandwich, key lime pie

                                          Georgia – grits, BBQ, peach pie

                                          Hawaii – Spam, rice, macaroni salad, Fresh pineapple, malasadas

                                          Idaho – potato soup, French fries

                                          Illinois – deep dish pizza

                                          Kansas – corn … I’m as corny as … etc.

                                          Louisiana – oysters, gumbo or jambalaya, red beans and rice, beignet & café du monde coffee

                                          Maine – clam bake, blueberry pie

                                          Maryland – crab cakes

                                          Massachusetts –Turkey, cranberry sauce, Parker house rolls, toll house cookies

                                          Nebraska – Omaha steak

                                          Nevada – all-you-can-eat buffet, lots of booze (hey, it draws me there)

                                          New Jersey – Taylor pork roll & fresh tomatoes

                                          New York – buffalo wings, Pastrami sandwich, NY cheesecake

                                          Oklahoma – official state meal (really): fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, black-eyed peas and pecan pie.

                                          Oregon – marionberry or blackberry pie

                                          Pennsylvania – cheese steak, shoo-fly pie

                                          Rhode Island – Portuguese / Manhattan clam chowder

                                          Texas – chili & sweet tea

                                          Utah – jello salad

                                          Vermont – Cheddar cheese soup, apple pie

                                          Virginia - ham

                                          Washington – Raw oysters, wild salmon, Starbucks coffee & apple pie

                                          Wisconsin – cheese plate, cranberry bread

                                          Wyoming – Buffalo burgers

                                          This site links to all the official state stuff. Some states have official foods.

                                          www. netstate.com

                                          Link: http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodfaq4....

                                          29 Replies
                                          1. re: rworange

                                            For Louisiana -- muffalettas with olive mix, Shrimp! LA is the #1 shrimp producing state!
                                            Natchitoches meat pies (www.lasyones.com
                                            Arizona -- fry bread, navajo tacos, carne adovado

                                            California -- SD fish tacos

                                            Florida -- grouper

                                            Mississippi -- mud pie?

                                            Have fun!

                                            1. re: Gayle

                                              I was going to suggest fry bread and Navajo tacos as a Four Corners thing, rather than an Arizona thing...four states in one!

                                              For Arizona as a whole, I think of Sonoran Mexican food....

                                              1. re: susancinsf

                                                When I was in Phoenix ca. 1970 I had a new thing I had never heard of before - a chimichanga (deep fried burrito). Ever since, I think if these as the iconic Arizona food specialty.

                                                1. re: Sharuf

                                                  Lol! so do I actually, come to think about it...I've seen way more chimichangas on menus in Phoenix than in all of my Mexico travels.

                                                  1. re: susancinsf

                                                    Chimis are a pretty recent invention. Probably sometime in the late 60's early 70's. I am from the southeastern most corner of AZ and had never encountered them until my mother went home to visit her mother and brought back the flour tortillas my grand mother's house keeper had made and made them for us. She had never encountered them prior and grew up entirely in AZ and went to college at UofA. But El Charro's dried beef tacos were an item that could make her homesick.

                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                      Chimichangas are an early 1900's invention by Chinese immigrants in either Sonora or Mexicali. As some of you might know... many Chinese were deported from the U.S. in the late 1800's..and ended up in Mexico. Towns like Mexicali (which is well known for its Chinese food)... once had ethnic Chinese as the majority group.

                                                      Just like they invented Chop Suey in S.F. as a means for survival... the Chimichanga (basically an eggroll with Mexican seasoning) was a means to survive selling food on the street.

                                              2. re: Gayle

                                                Dunno that grouper would be especially connected to Florida. Pompano or Snapper might be more local.

                                                If you wanted to get "touristy" you could do gator tail (hard to cook, tho) and hearts of palm salad.

                                                Of course, any kind of Cuban cooking would be Floridian too, now. Roast pork, black beans & rice, and sweet plantains would be a good meal.

                                                Key Lime pie is the official state desert (altho I don't care for it much myself).

                                                You could throw in some hot bald p-nuts too, to represent the crackers from the top of the state.

                                              3. re: rworange

                                                When I think of Nevada, personally I think of basque food in general, and lamb in particular. Oh, and Thai food at Lotus of Siam.. :-) but yes, booze too.

                                                Hubby is from Central Pennsylvania, and he agrees with you about the shoo-fly pie, but interestingly enough he says that when he thinks of home and food it is usually just-picked corn that he remembers fondly...

                                                1. re: rworange

                                                  re: Kansas (or Missouri) don't forget Kansas City barbeque!!

                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                    "Oklahoma – official state meal (really): fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, black-eyed peas and pecan pie."

                                                    You got Oklahoma right... thanks to the foresight of the state legislature enacting an official state meal. Of course, the creativity of local cooks is not always fettered by tradition. A Mennonite woman I know in Inola traveles every July 100 miles to the small town of Porter, to get a certain variety of peach at the peak of harvest. She then bakes it into pies, with an ethereal cream sauce. She won't give her own sister the recipe.

                                                    1. re: rworange

                                                      Sweet tea is actually more typical of the deep south than of Texas. When I go home to Mississippi and order "tea", the waitress always asks, "Sweet or unsweetened?" In Texas I'm never asked that, or ever offered already-sweetened tea.

                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                        No, no, no, Texas = Steak! Oh, and Texas Toast :)


                                                        1. re: TexasToast

                                                          what about TX bbq?

                                                          -- hehe nvm, way down the list someone mentions bbq brisket

                                                        2. re: rworange

                                                          I know this is an old post, but where are Indiana and Minnesota?

                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                            There are quite a few states not on rworange's list, and she never presented it as a list for all 50... I doubt it was an intentional slight against any one state, just can't list things you don't know.

                                                            1. re: mpjmph

                                                              No problem! Just noticed it, that's all. Shouldn't have pointed it out!

                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                Indiana is known for breaded tenderloins, which I think was mentioned for another state.

                                                                1. re: brilynn79

                                                                  Wow, that's right. So many BAD breaded tenderloins, yet occasionally in Indiana you can find an amazing one!!!!

                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                    I live in Indiana but am not from the state and have never actually tried one of these yet.

                                                                    On looking at some youtube vids, I notice that the cooks don't seem actually to use the tenderloin cut, but instead they flatten out what looks like boneless pork loin steaks. As the meat is breaded and fried, it seems that these are basically a schnitzel sandwich. Sounds tasty.

                                                                    1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                      I just got back from 2 months in Germany. That, my friends, is a schnitzel! It was great for the first 3 weeks.

                                                                      1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                        I just came across this yesterday.


                                                                        They are doing a sandwich contest in IN for the super bowl - people can vote on their favorites. There are several breaded tenderloin sandwiches in the running, fully described on the website referenced in the article. I would imagine that these would be among the best in the state.


                                                                2. re: sandylc

                                                                  When I think of Minnesota, I think of Lutefisk and cigarettes. LOTS of cigarettes.

                                                                  1. re: Cremon

                                                                    MN makes me think of lefse with lingonberry jam.

                                                                      1. re: Cremon

                                                                        Cigarettes? Were you in Northern MN?

                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                          Yes - Predominantly northern MN.

                                                                          1. re: Cremon

                                                                            I noticed an awful lot of smoking when I ventured north a few times. I'm in the metro area.

                                                                  2. New Mexico speaks for itself. New Mexican style cuisine should not be hard to find in the internet. Hatch, New Mexico is home of the famous chilis.

                                                                    Chris - where are you?

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: John Seberg


                                                                      I'm deep in the heart of Texas. Waco to be exact. I am a Pastor and I'm always looking for some fun ideas to spend some time with my friends from our church. This was something that just came to me yesterday and I thought it would be fun to do. I love to travel and experience all of the foods across the US, but my position with the church limits the travel time, so this would be one way to still enjoy it all.

                                                                      1. re: Chris

                                                                        OH wow! What a great church potluck! Not sure if your church is small enough to do a pot luck. I grew up in a small southern church -- 50 on high attendance days!

                                                                        You could assign families a state or region. A fab way to really get the congregants visiting with each other and sharing.

                                                                        1. re: Gayle

                                                                          One of the churches in Plano did a heritage dinner. Everyone brought a dish from their background. Either a country of origin or another part of the United States.

                                                                    2. California ... Fish tacos, California roll, Chinese Chicken Salad, Frozen Yogurt, Boba Tea

                                                                      Hawai'i ... Spam Musubi, Shaved Ice

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: ipse dixit

                                                                        Don't forget something with avocado for California. When I was growing up, my mom used to preoccupy me before dinner by making me a bowl of mashed avocado with lemon and garlic salt. No chips needed. Yum.

                                                                      2. a
                                                                        Amuse Bouches

                                                                        That's tough, because with some of the larger states, they're hardly uniform in their eating. I imagine the habits of New York City residents are entirely different from those of Buffalo. But if you want some things that some resident of that state would eat, that may be considered a "regional delicacy" or a local food, then here are my picks for the three states I've lived in:

                                                                        Connecticut: Connecticut style lobster rolls (no mayonnaisey lobster salad, just lobster, lots of melted butter, and the roll); fried clams, Thin Crust Brick oven (New Haven style) pizza

                                                                        New York (city, really): Pizza, though I never ate pizza in NYC as good as New Haven pizza, red sauce Italian food, bagels and smoked whitefish, Jewish deli food, anything in takeout containers.

                                                                        California: Sourdough Bread, Dungeness Crab, seafood in many shapes, California wine, fresh seasonal produce, Asian fusion cuisine (think Wolfgang Puck, and in lesser form, the California Pizza Kitchen).

                                                                        1. Nebraska, in addition to the Omaha steaks: runzas (meat, onion and cabbage encased in a soft dough), kolaches (Czech cookies), corn on the cob, Russell Stover chocolates and Kool-Aid. Maybe not all at once.

                                                                          1. Rhode Island - stuffies (stuffed quahogs)

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: wild child

                                                                              Another RI - Del's

                                                                              1. re: wild child

                                                                                oh yes, Del's!! I live in SE CT, and always drove to Watch Hill during the summer for the beach. Every time we went we HAD to go to Del's about midday for a lovely frozen lemonade.

                                                                            2. Utah-- fry sauce and some sort of green jello salad.


                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: DB

                                                                                Mormons are incredibly versatile cooks. One explained why they spend so much time cooking, "We can't drink, we can't smoke, but we CAN eat!"

                                                                              2. AMERICA, The Beautiful (from "The Beautiful" series by Time-Life) has regional descriptions as well as individual recipes from each state.

                                                                                TASTE OF THE STATES, A Food History of America, by H.G. Lee has a very similar content though with more history.

                                                                                I taught Food History for many years and found that regional, geographical areas are more condusive to food patterns than artificial political borders. Your own state of Texas is a great example because of the diversity. Galveston, on the coast, does not have the same foods as Fredricksburg in the hill country of Texas. Maryland's Chesepeake shoreline has much more in common with Virginia and Delaware that Maryland's hilly eastern region that is closely tied to West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

                                                                                This is an admirable project and my hat is off to anyone who commits to and willingly sits down to eat with the same people for the next fifty weeks. Let us know how it goes.

                                                                                1. Illinois--Italian beef, deep dish pizza and chicago style hot dogs. What a fun idea---good luck and if you get a chance, let us know from time to time what your eating and how it's going.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: jackie

                                                                                    Those are Chicago foods, not Illinois foods. Very different.

                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                      This post is five and a half years old... I'm assuming the project mentioned in the OP is done.

                                                                                  2. When I was a kid in Texas whole bbq'd turkeys were a big favorite...after we moved back to California my mother missed it so much she once brought one home on the plane after a trip back to Houston!

                                                                                    1. I think "Regions" more accurately reflects the Americas, and if you transpose the 9 Nations concept onto a Foods map, I believe it will pretty accurately mirror this idea.
                                                                                      For Instance, the Central Americas, where you are, has more in common than not from Mexico to Canada. (the Breadbasket).
                                                                                      Wheat and Cows happen.
                                                                                      MexAmerica and Ecotopia; the Empty Quarter....Tasty stuff.
                                                                                      Where I am in Southern Oregon-lamb, pears, Salmon, potatoes, root vegetables, (Horseradish!),
                                                                                      + grapes= wines=mmmmm.
                                                                                      (also known as Runzas) you'll find these clear out to Ca.'s Central Valley
                                                                                      Kansas Tacos=Deep fried beef Tacos with peas,
                                                                                      + the usual Quintessential Steaks, Wheat,
                                                                                      and! Lingonberries in Lindsborg.
                                                                                      Missouri=Catfish, Chicken, KC Q, and Springfield Cashew Chicken

                                                                                      Ca. Or. Id. Nv.-Basque.sheepherder's food! wow.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: PepperAnne

                                                                                        Well people have covered our present New England location pretty well, but we spent our first forty some years in northern Ohio and Indiana, so here are some suggestions for that area--memories collected from innumerable church suppers and local restaurants.

                                                                                        Starters: Asparagus Salad, Potato Leek Soup
                                                                                        Entrees: Pork Tenderloin or Chicken Casserole
                                                                                        Sides: Applesauce, Corn on the Cob, Peas, Cottage Cheese
                                                                                        Dessert: Lemon Merengue Pie,
                                                                                        Snack: Orville Redenbacher's Pop Corn
                                                                                        Drinks: Some N. Ind. wines are not bad(really!)
                                                                                        Put-in-Bay non alcoholic bubbly.

                                                                                        For more suggestions, see the link below.

                                                                                        Link: http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodfaq4....

                                                                                      2. s
                                                                                        Seth Chadwick

                                                                                        I am sure someone already covered Arizona, but here are a few thoughts from a native Phoenician:

                                                                                        1. Native American Fry Bread, either with red or green chili or with just honey and powdered sugar.

                                                                                        2. Navajo Tacos - Fry bread filled with either meat or beans and toppings.

                                                                                        3. Carne Seca - You will find this mostly in Tucson. It is shredded beef that is cooked with spices. It is then dried out in the sun until dehydrated. It is then rehydrated and heated and served alone or inside tacos, enchilada, burros, etc.

                                                                                        4. Tortillas - Flour or corn. You can get them fresh all over the place. For a great snack, heat a flour tortilla until very warm. Slather with butter. Fold over a few times. Eat. Pure heaven.

                                                                                        5. Sonoran Mexican Food - Apropos for Arizona since we are in the Sonoran desert and share a border with the Mexican state of Sonora. Hearty, comforting, but fairly mild. Lots of red sauces and yellow cheddar cheese and fried corn tortillas.

                                                                                        6. Fresh citrus and good steak. Others may find that notation odd, but once upon a time, Arizona was a huge cattle and citrus focal point. In many ways it still is, but we don't really celebrate the heritage that much. Arizona economy was always centered around the "Five C's": Copper, Cotton, Climate, Cattle and Citrus.

                                                                                        Hope that helps! Best wishes!

                                                                                        Link: http://www.feastinginphoenix.com

                                                                                        1. Great post! Delaware - fried chicken and oysters. During the summer if one drives around the remaining back roads one can sometimes be lucky enough to come upon a fire hall having a chicken & oyster dinner. Macaroni salad and sweet iced tea (or beer) seem to be the accompaniments.

                                                                                          1. Kentucky:
                                                                                            Hot Browns; B & B Country Ham; Derby Pie; Spoon Bread; Corn Pudding; Beer Cheese; Hush Puppies; Rolled Oysters; Pulled Pork; Pool Hall Chili; Chess Pie; Fried Chicken; Beaten Biscuits; Garlic cheese grits; Bourbon Balls; Pulled candy; Jam Cake; BarBQ baby back ribs; Jefferson Davis pie; Bendeictine spread; Mint Juleps; Bourbon

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Janet

                                                                                              A few more Kentucky items. Gravy with those beaten biscuits (it is the land of biscuits and gravy, ya know)--red eye gravy for that country ham and milk gravy for the sausage and biscuits, and pimento cheese.

                                                                                            2. I haven't noticed anything about Michigan so:
                                                                                              Pasties - mostly a UP thing.

                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: wolf

                                                                                                Also from Michigan-

                                                                                                Paczkis- small jelly-filled donuts eaten on Fat Tuesday every year

                                                                                                Vernor's Ginger Ale. Faygo and Towne Club

                                                                                                Sanders sundae toppings

                                                                                                1. re: BW Jill

                                                                                                  Ii also forgot another UP staple: Thimble Berry Jam.

                                                                                                2. re: wolf

                                                                                                  More from Michigan:

                                                                                                  Lake Perch - usually deep fried
                                                                                                  Mackinac Fudge ice cream
                                                                                                  Coney Island dogs - Chili dogs very prevelent in the Detroit area

                                                                                                  in the summer, desserts made with blueberries or cherries are very popular

                                                                                                  Another poster mentioned both Vernor's and Sander's fudge sauce. Putting Vernor's and Sander's vanilla ice cream together for a float - a "Detroit cooler"...

                                                                                                  Also Sander's Bumpy Cake!

                                                                                                  1. re: SusieQ

                                                                                                    Ohio is better than michigan.

                                                                                                    Lake perch is an ohio thing as well, and it better be beer battered in stroh's and deep fried with lemon juice.
                                                                                                    you cant forget about the polish boy- grilled kielbasa on a bun with BBQ and hot sauce and french fries and cole slaw. ( AMAZING!)
                                                                                                    cleveland stadium, stadium mustard (completely unique)

                                                                                                    we also like mussels with garlic butter, and in general alot of polish, hungarian, and german influences.

                                                                                                    chicken pauprikash and perogeis are good examples. as well as hot corned beef sandwiches.

                                                                                                    we cant forget about the restaurant in the cleveland area called "the melt" they take grilled cheese to an insane level.

                                                                                                    1. re: thehaynal

                                                                                                      Don't forget Cincinnati chili and 5 ways!

                                                                                                3. For Wisconsin:

                                                                                                  Lake Trout, preferably grilled.

                                                                                                  Cheese curds, so fresh they squeak when you bite into them.

                                                                                                  Bratwurst, fresh ones, first steamed in beer and onions and then finished on the grill.

                                                                                                  Frozen custard.

                                                                                                  Depending on how much of "state fair' ambiance you want to go for, anything deep fried and/or on a stick. Corn dogs, cheeses curds, 3 Musketeer bars, etc.

                                                                                                  Wisconsin duck and pheasant.

                                                                                                  And beer. (It's true that Milwaukee is not anything near the beer producer that it once was, but dont let that stop you.) Miller, NOT Budweiser.

                                                                                                  In the days when I lived elsewhere, these are what I missed most about 'back home'.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                                    How could I forget!?!

                                                                                                    Friday night fish fry! Cod or perch, served with fries, and cole slaw, and some bread in case of bones.

                                                                                                    And the Door County fish boil.

                                                                                                  2. Here in Yuma (SW AZ) the local dish would have to be green chili burrito saddle style (also called a wet burrito or burrito enchilada style). The traditional, old school dish has green chili made from coarsely ground beef cooked with chopped mild green chilies, some sliced onions, and bits of tomato wrapped in a large flour tortilla and then topped with more of the green chili mix and yellow cheese. Yum.

                                                                                                    Common variations include using more standard style of green chili or another type of burrito filling and covering with enchilada sauce instead of some of the wet filling.

                                                                                                    Clearly this is knife and fork food.


                                                                                                    1. Wyoming--Elk (you can buy it online),rainbow trout, buffalo burgers (yum)

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Melly

                                                                                                        even though my dad killed one and a bf's roomie had the freezer stuffed with one he killed, never had elk. the freezer ate it with the other roommate's energy-draining homebeer making. gave one of my dad's elk steaks to a bf for what was probably one of his last non-vegetarian meals.

                                                                                                        i like buffalo; have been toying with the idea of meatballs.

                                                                                                        1. re: Melly

                                                                                                          We ate moose for over a year, but trout every friday. Elk burgers were regular also. Choke cherry jelly is something I don't think is widely available.

                                                                                                        2. pennsylvania: teaberry ice cream; shoofly pie, scrapple, cheesesteaks. italian hoagies, not sure from what part of Italy the majority are in upstate PA. shad. water ice. mushrooms. corn.

                                                                                                          I can't believe johanna weir [PBS cooking show] just referred to flaminco dancers.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: semmel

                                                                                                            Semmel,dear, you never saw big pink birds standing on one foot in a swamp, wearing mantillas and clicking castanets ,wearing thick black heels dancing loudly on that one foot? There should be STRICT IQ testing of the hosts on food TV, I can't watch it anymore, I get too crazy. Flamenco Falmingos Ole. Add those big doughy soft pretzels to Pa. food list.

                                                                                                            1. re: semmel

                                                                                                              I'd like to add grapenut ice cream to the list if teaberry is on there.

                                                                                                            2. I can't let Texas go unmentioned:

                                                                                                              Brisket (slow and smoked)
                                                                                                              Texas chili (no beans)
                                                                                                              chicken fried steak with cream gravy (and biscuits,
                                                                                                              mashed potatoes, green beans, etc.)
                                                                                                              Tex Mex
                                                                                                              Ruby Red Grapefruit

                                                                                                              1. typical New England- clam chowder, cob smoked ham, boston baked beans, brown bread with raisins; or a clambake- steamers, lobsters, sweet potatoes, sausages and corn on the cob:
                                                                                                                Rhode Island- clam cakes (really more like fritters); stuffed quohags; calamari with hot peppers; kale soup with linquica; coffee milk (made with Tylers' coffee syrup).

                                                                                                                1. I have read through the post and was raised as an Air Force brat so have encountered many of the mentioned foods, from the Sonoran Desert where I was born and Sonoran was/is my comfort food to this day to Northern New York and many points in between. We now live in south central Indiana and no one mentioned some of the local favorites around here like pork tenderloin sandwiches. The hand made ones are best and quite often are slices of boneless pork loin pounded flat and tender and then either dredged in an egg wash and flour and deep fried or as I like to make them, pounding out real pork tenderloins and eggwash and panko (pork schnitzel) and made into a sandwich on a burger bun. The fried tenderloin should be considerably larger than the bun. Something I have never made but a friend who is a local and speaks fondly of is chicken and dumplings over mashed potatoes. The dumplings are not the big fluffy kind but more like thick noodles cooked up in the chicken stew.

                                                                                                                  In Clinton County NY which is on the Lake Champlain and Canadian border we had a chili dog, called a Michigan and htere are many theories where the name cam from, that was unique to the area. It has to be served on a "New England" hot dog roll which is rectangular and is split on the top. The rolls are steamed and most often we would order them with the onions buried, that is in teh bottom of the bun. The chili was made from ground beef that was started out in water so the meat grounds became quite fine and seperate the seasonings, arlic,cumin, chili powder etc.(no tomatoes, the red color comes from the chili powder) were added and the whole is cooked cooked down to a very dense rather dry sauce. Hot dog goes in the bun on top of the onions, the chili on top and a squiggle of yellow mustard on top. French fries served with vinegar were pretty traditional.

                                                                                                                  In Albany Georgia I remember encountering Brunswick stew for the first time and fell in love with it at about age 9. In Savannah the shrimp salad at Morrison's cafeteria was a great treat, Johnny Harris' BBQ, oyster roasts and a little grogery on Bull St. several block from where we lived made the best deviled crabs I have ever had in my life.

                                                                                                                  I don't remember a great deal about food in Waco, Tx. when we lived there but we had wonderful peach trees in our back yard. My mother would often find us sitting in the trees eating the ripe fruit from the trees when it was ripe for breakfast.

                                                                                                                  When we lived in Calif. and my mom was teaching and my dad was going to school my great grandmother and grand mother would come to stay with us and cook. They were great southern cooks who lived on the Mexican border of AZ. We cooked mustard greens which we gathered from a vacant lot and embarassed the hell out of my dad, lots of cornbread, spoon bread, great fried chicken etc. In my teens I remembering visiting my Anaheim grand mother from northern NY and seeing NY Strip Steaks on a menu and wondering what they were. In northern NY we had a pot roast cut i have not seen since, I think it was called a 7 bone and our pork roasts were a completely different cut than I fnd here in Indana. Meat cuts would make another great thread...sort of a photo show and tell...what do you call this?

                                                                                                                  1. Western NY (Buffalo, Rochester, Southern Tier, etc) - Beef on Weck, Buffalo Wings (although we just call them chicken wings or wings here), Salhen's hot dogs and Sponge Candy.

                                                                                                                    In the Southern Tier we made toast out of salt rising bread - best toast ever. I've never found it available anywhere else but I heard that it's popular in West Virginia.

                                                                                                                    1. Florida:
                                                                                                                      No matter where you are in Florida, fish & seafood are bound to be on the menu. (Even in the center of the state you're not too far from a coast.) When I moved here as a child I was outraged to see 'Flipper' on all the menus, until someone told me that the Dolphin they served here was not a porpoise but a type of fish! So that being said:

                                                                                                                      Dolphin or grouper with mango salsa
                                                                                                                      Any food with caribbean elements (Floribbean) such as dolphin or grouper with mango salsa
                                                                                                                      Medianoche (Cuban Sandwich)
                                                                                                                      Pan tostado (buttered toast) and cafe con leche for breakfast
                                                                                                                      cortadito (small cafe con leche) after lunch or colada mid-afternoon for a high octane boost
                                                                                                                      Florida lobster tail
                                                                                                                      Stone crabs! with new potatoes in butter, garlic and parsley
                                                                                                                      Colombian arepas/Venezuelan cachapas eaten while hot and gooey
                                                                                                                      Palmitos salad -- hearts of palm salad

                                                                                                                      Tres leches or Quatro Leches Cake (very milky, sweet cakes)
                                                                                                                      Opera Cake
                                                                                                                      Dulce de leche
                                                                                                                      Key Lime Pie!

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Dev

                                                                                                                        Don't forget about conch fritters or conch stew. As well as smoked fish dip with saltines.

                                                                                                                        1. re: beatrice

                                                                                                                          And smoked mullet! (The fish, not the hair style, which is also widely found in Fla.)

                                                                                                                      2. I lived in Monterey CA for a dozen years, and this would be a perfect Monterey meal focused on local ingredients:

                                                                                                                        Sourdough bread and butter

                                                                                                                        Multicolored heirloom tomato slices topped with Dungeness crab

                                                                                                                        Fried calamari

                                                                                                                        Cream of artichoke soup

                                                                                                                        Salad of Salinas baby greens

                                                                                                                        Abalone steaks with a side of capellini topped with local spot prawns.

                                                                                                                        Great thread, by the way.


                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: e.d.

                                                                                                                          yes, and local stawberries for dessert!

                                                                                                                        2. Yeah, Minnesota is indeed known for hot dish, all of which require Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup - yick. (Lemme know if you want some recipes.)

                                                                                                                          But much tastier is our walleye and our hand-harvested, traditionally-processed wild rice. The latter is available by mail-order through the White Earth Land Recovery Project. The walleye is, I think, harder to get.

                                                                                                                          And, for dessert, ice cream. Or some Salted Nut Rolls or (maple-flavored) Nut Goodies from Pearson's Candy Company.

                                                                                                                          The link below is an article on states' official foods - good for a giggle, but not necessarily for the local-only dishes that people really eat. But it reminded me about another Minnesota treat: Morel mushrooms (yum).

                                                                                                                          Have fun with your dinners!

                                                                                                                          Link: http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249...

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                                                                            Interesting list of official state foods. A lot of them should come with special interest group warnings. I've been in California for decades and never saw golden trout anywhere, markets, restaurants ... knowing this state it is probably endangered and we can't eat it.

                                                                                                                            Never heard of New Mexico's state cookie - bizcochitos. Are they really popular in New Mexico? Are they good? Any bakery known for these?

                                                                                                                            Milk and honey bees seem popular in a lot of states.

                                                                                                                            Then there's Utah with an official state cooking pot - the Dutch Oven.

                                                                                                                            I hope the OP poster has a lot of good ideas. This is a wonderful list for anyone traveling to keep an eye out for local dishes.

                                                                                                                            Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bizcochito

                                                                                                                            1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                              Yes, biscochitos are indeed popular here, especially around Christmas time. They're a nice, light, crumbly cookie. I've usually had homemade ones, but I've heard that the Golden Crown Panaderia (bakery) here in Albuquerque makes a good version.

                                                                                                                          2. Just another thought on New Jersey.During the summer(and I mean ONLY July & August !)Local corn & tomatoes.Everyone it seems heads(crawls!)down the
                                                                                                                            Garden State Parkway to the shore where there's a
                                                                                                                            barbecue going in just about every backyard.They grill
                                                                                                                            whatever their heart desires,but there's sure to be a
                                                                                                                            big pot of water boiling for corn,and a big plate of
                                                                                                                            sliced ripe tomatoes.Again,DON'T even think of doing
                                                                                                                            this unless the temperature is in the 90's,and never
                                                                                                                            get them in a supermarket!We're talkin' roadside
                                                                                                                            stand here.
                                                                                                                            P.S. In :re to an earlier post concerning Taylor Ham,that's a PRODUCT much like Canadian Bacon and can be found just about anywhere.Taylor(brand)PorkRoll
                                                                                                                            (no pun intended)is a whole 'nother animal!

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: JC_JOE

                                                                                                                              Taylor ham is pork roll. It doesn't taste anything like Canadian bacon -- though it is round, like Canadian bacon, except that you cut slits in Taylor ham so it won't curl up. You may be thinking of Trenton pork roll, which is milder than Taylor ham.

                                                                                                                              If you order pork roll, egg and cheese on a hard roll, you'll get the same thing as if you order Taylor ham, egg and cheese on a hard roll.

                                                                                                                            2. My area of central coast California is known for the following contributions to the local cuisine: fine wines, strawberries, avocados, lemons, broccoli, fresh local rock fish, abalone, vine berries, and all manner of fresh greens and garden veggies year round.

                                                                                                                              Whole beef top block, slow-roasted on long metal rods over a pit of live oak coals constitutes Santa Maria Style Barbeque. Accompanied by simple, lightly spiced pinquito beans, green lettuce salad, and garlic bread.
                                                                                                                              Beef tri-tip cut is often subbed by the home cook for the top block as it has a distinctive rich flavor and is a smaller, more manageable size for the home bbq'r. (some other areas serve tri-tip as Coulotte steaks. This is tri-tip cut across the grain in 1 1/2 inch slices.)

                                                                                                                              This has been a facsinating thread and hope to hear back from you! with photos!

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: toodie jane

                                                                                                                                Up here in Maine this is exactly the time for one of the better local traditions..A meal of wild Brook Trout and Fiddleheads....next is the traditional 4th of July fare of Salmon and fresh peas. Simple fare, but if you are adventurous and find just the right wine to go with it...well, it may not be fancy, but the freshness and purity of the ingredients makes it very special

                                                                                                                              2. USA TODAY's "50 Plates From 50 States" @ the link below.


                                                                                                                                Link: http://www.traveltraveltravel.com/gou...

                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Erik M.

                                                                                                                                  Only 46 states listed.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Erik M.

                                                                                                                                    They have Arizona and Arkansas mixed up.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                      and...boy is that a bizarre list, in Indiana the only place you are going to get the perch they are talking about in up in the area of the state on Lake Michigan.Any place south of there, and there is a whole lot more south of there than there is there of there, if you were to be looking for perch well forget it, it is just not there.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                        And, they have catfish listed for Arkansas (actually listed for Arizona, but intended for Arkansas since they evidently got the two states mixed up). Catfish is a Mississippi thing. The entire catfish farming industry was started in the Mississippi Delta -- Belzoni, MS to be exact. Mississippi has three times the number of catfish farm operations, the number of acres dedicated to catfish farming, and the number of catfish produced than does Arkansas. (Check out the USDA annual ag report.)

                                                                                                                                        There is nothing better than crisply fried catfish fillets (some swear by the whole fish) served up with homecut fries, tangy slaw, hushpuppies loaded with onions, fried dill pickles, and a big ole glass of sweet tea with lemon. Turnip greens and cornbread, tabasco, lemon, and tarter sauce are optional. There are "fish camps" scattered through out the rural areas of Mississippi that are packed to capcity every Fri. and Sat. dishing up just those items.

                                                                                                                                    2. Ohio: Cincinnati Chili, Polish influences (pirogee)
                                                                                                                                      Texas: BBQ Beef Brisket
                                                                                                                                      Louisiana: Cajun?
                                                                                                                                      Kentucky: Southern Fried Chicken
                                                                                                                                      North Carolina: Pulled Pork (Vinegar Sauce)
                                                                                                                                      Florida: Definitely Cuban
                                                                                                                                      Penn: Fries & Slaw in a Sandwich
                                                                                                                                      Washington (Seattle): Heavy Japanese influence, Raw oysters at every local market.
                                                                                                                                      Hawaii: SPAM

                                                                                                                                      1. Texas

                                                                                                                                        1) chicken fried steak (with mashed potatoes, biscuit, all swimming in country gravy)
                                                                                                                                        2) breakfast tacos (with chorizo)
                                                                                                                                        3) fried okra!
                                                                                                                                        4) fajitas
                                                                                                                                        5) enchiladas verdes (or really anything with a tomatillo sauce), enchiladas with sour cream sauce
                                                                                                                                        5) brisket (personally prefer pit bar b q like at Cooper's in Llano)
                                                                                                                                        6) pho (large Vietnamese population in Houston and Dallas)

                                                                                                                                        1. Just discovered this fabulous thread; can't let it die :-).

                                                                                                                                          Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin - while making a great north circle from Minneapolis we discovered many roadside stores that sold homemade smoked lake trout, walleye and beef; the latter is usually called KIPPERED beef. It's moister and a little thicker cut than jerky, IMO a big improvement. So smoky when I opened the bag, the Whole room Immediately smelled like smoke. Mmmmm...

                                                                                                                                          Texas (kind of) - just across the border in Piedras Negras, the NACHO was born. Mexican disavow this dish as Tex-Mex, I think rightly so Especially due to the many vile versions made with 100% process cheese. Use some cheddar for gawds sake...

                                                                                                                                          1. California- cobb salad w/ extra avocado, bbq chicken pizza, grilled chicken with a fruit salsa, anything raw/vegan/macrobiotic, fruit and cheese for dessert or frozen yogurt

                                                                                                                                            Hawaii- ahi sashimi, kona coffee, macadamia nut pie

                                                                                                                                            Alaska- salmon and baked alaska of course!

                                                                                                                                            1. Michigan

                                                                                                                                              Cherry or Apple pie would be an appropriate dessert. Others mentioned (Sanders chocolate "bump cake" for instance) would have to be ordered. Vernors soda/pop is becoming available in different states now, but is a unique made-in-Detroit drink.

                                                                                                                                              And, as mentioned before, "Coney Island" hot dogs (with chili & onions) are classic Detroit. You could even order a package complete from "National Coney Island" one of our favorites: http://www.nationalconeyisland.com/Ca... (There are FIVE different coney island restaurants within 2 miles of my home in the suburbs!


                                                                                                                                              We are also big on just about any kind of Italian food!

                                                                                                                                              Get some CDs with good old car songs (Beach Boys come to mind) and have a great evening!

                                                                                                                                              Hope this helps!

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: nancyusa

                                                                                                                                                Michigan Beers

                                                                                                                                                If you are into beer, be sure to get local Michigan beers. The best: Bell's Oberon, Two Hearted or Amber; Michigan brewing Company Mackinac Pale; Arcadia Whitsun. Many of these are seasonal.

                                                                                                                                              2. Oregon:

                                                                                                                                                Oregon is well known for having all kinds of berries: blackberries, strawberries, huckleberries, blueberries - you name it. There is nothing like an Oregon strawberry: sweet and soft and delicious. You can't get them anywhere but in Oregon, because they don't ship well. Oregon is also known for its salmon. Also, we are known for Hermiston watermelons. The ones with the seeds are the sweetest ever.

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Martha113

                                                                                                                                                  Isn't Oregan also known for cherries?


                                                                                                                                                2. You might be interested in this post from the Midwest board. Similar question, but focused on the Midwest.



                                                                                                                                                  1. Hey Wisconsin- don't forget Brandy Old Fashioneds!

                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MaspethMaven

                                                                                                                                                      USA Today is off its rocker about Indiana. Nobody eats perch here.

                                                                                                                                                      Indiana - Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                      Apparently, in a town called "Gnaw Bone" (I'm not kidding) there is a great place to get one. For my money, The Mug and Bun on the west side of Indianapolis has an awesome breaded tenderloin. Little mustard, some pickles, superb.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hufferc

                                                                                                                                                        Iowa is also well-known for this delicacy. If you are ever on I-80 West of Iowa City, go to Oxford, Iowa and try one at the Augusta Restaurant. One of the owners relocated to Iowa after Katrina and perfected it.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hufferc

                                                                                                                                                          I know where Gnaw Bone is(my sister lives on the shore of Lake Lemon but her address is Nashville) so I'll have to try the breaded pork sandwich in GnawBone the next time I'm there. My sister prefers a hole in the wall place in Bloomington for breaded pork sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                      2. No love for South Carolina? Lowcountry cuisine should be on anyone's culinary map:
                                                                                                                                                        - crab cakes
                                                                                                                                                        - she-crab soup
                                                                                                                                                        - peel-and-eat shrimp
                                                                                                                                                        - shrimp and grits
                                                                                                                                                        - Frogmore stew (aka Lowcountry boil)
                                                                                                                                                        - oysters (steamed)
                                                                                                                                                        - fried green tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                        - collards
                                                                                                                                                        - peach cobbler

                                                                                                                                                        Wait, you thought Georgia was the peach state? Let's ask Mr. Stephen "Sandlapper" Colbert:

                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: biscuitdaddy

                                                                                                                                                            Also South Carolina: Chicken Bog or Pirleu , shrimp salad, steamed oyster clusters

                                                                                                                                                          2. New Jersey is called the Garden State because it has so many outstanding crops, several of which could be considered candidates for your project, among them are tomatoes, peaches, corn, cranberries, apples, asparagus. At least the regional produce we pick each year is outstanding!

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                              It is true that NJ has remarkable local produce, but I am surprised that no one has meantioned steamers, bluefish or crabs. I associate summer with steamers, corn on the cob & the best tomatoes in the world.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bropaul

                                                                                                                                                                Can't argue with you there bropaul! Jersey has wonderful seasonal choices and I'm already missing the county farm/garden project and the outstanding heirlom tomatoes! And if you are a fan of lima beans...Jersey has amazing crops each year.

                                                                                                                                                                Not to mention the wines coming out of this state!

                                                                                                                                                            2. sauerkraut w/ turkey? Must be the big German influence in the Baltimore area. See, e.g., Moravia Road.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Pennsyltucky Foods: Funnel Cake. Scrapple. Pierogies. Yeungling Beer.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Almost every thing written for Oklahoma are Texas things! But don't forget Fajitas & Pinto beans w/ cornbread (not necessarily at the same time) PLUS the pecan pie has to be made with light corn syrup . When I went to California I was so freaked out about the restaurants that had chicken & waffles (that's just weird!). Texas is also all about grilling outside whether you call it Bar-Be-Que or grilling, we cook at least 70% of our meats outside on the grill.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Tennessee is big on the "meat and three" model in general, but here are some foods that either originated in TN or are very popular there:

                                                                                                                                                                    Pork - Memphis-style BBQ, dry ribs, country ham, Benton's bacon.
                                                                                                                                                                    Fried stuff - catfish, chicken, or chicken fried steak
                                                                                                                                                                    Cornbread or biscuits with sausage gravy
                                                                                                                                                                    Southern veggies - collard greens, candied yams, black eyed peas
                                                                                                                                                                    Desserts - Stack cake, chess pie, blackberry cobbler, Goo Goos, and Moon Pies.
                                                                                                                                                                    Drinks - Jack Daniel's, of course. Sweet tea for the non-drinkers.

                                                                                                                                                                    This stuff will kill you if you eat it every day, of course, so you may want to space out the Southern dinners :)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. New Mexico:

                                                                                                                                                                      green chile cheeseburger
                                                                                                                                                                      green chile stew
                                                                                                                                                                      stacked pork enchiladas with a fried egg on top
                                                                                                                                                                      Navajo tacos
                                                                                                                                                                      suffed sopapillas
                                                                                                                                                                      carne adovada

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                        You beat me!
                                                                                                                                                                        Traditional New Mexico Christmas foods: red posole, tamales, biscochitos.
                                                                                                                                                                        Red chile pork stacked enchiladas, toped with a fried egg
                                                                                                                                                                        Green chile and chicken stacked enchiladas, topped w/ sour cream Both are usually accompanied by a sopapillas.
                                                                                                                                                                        Red or green chile stew, w/ beef, mutton or elk.
                                                                                                                                                                        NM style chile and beans; a bowl of pintos topped w/ a red chile sauce (gravy) smothered in raw onions and cheese.
                                                                                                                                                                        Fried bread w/ slices of mutton and green chiles.
                                                                                                                                                                        Breakfast burritos, w/ potato, chile and sausage (chorizo).
                                                                                                                                                                        Christmas chile, both red and green chile sauces side-by-side.

                                                                                                                                                                        NJ: soft shell crab sandwiches
                                                                                                                                                                        A butter roll (Kaiser) for breakfast.
                                                                                                                                                                        Italian hot dog
                                                                                                                                                                        Friday nigh fish fry

                                                                                                                                                                        Pa.: apple butter, chow chow, peach butter, soft pretzel and both Yuengling and Rolling Rock beers. Philly cheese steak an pork sandwiches. In Hazleton: pits, a kind of cold thick bread pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                        Maine: salt fish and potatoes w/ pork scraps, fish cakes and beans for breakfast, haddock hash, The church bean supper w/ neon red hot dogs, bean hole beans, salt cod "jerky", and the Whoopie pie (via Pennsylvania).
                                                                                                                                                                        Rock crab and Jonah crab.
                                                                                                                                                                        Chowder w./ no flour.
                                                                                                                                                                        Fried clams
                                                                                                                                                                        blue berry crisp.
                                                                                                                                                                        Brown bread in a can.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. California
                                                                                                                                                                        Hot Fudge Sauce
                                                                                                                                                                        Cobb Salad
                                                                                                                                                                        Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas
                                                                                                                                                                        Fortune Cookies

                                                                                                                                                                        1. For San Francisco (and north along the coast)
                                                                                                                                                                          Dungeness crab, salmon, halibut, ciopinno. I'd
                                                                                                                                                                          suggest in particular crab louis.

                                                                                                                                                                          For New Orleans, jambalaya is great
                                                                                                                                                                          and easy to fix (try to get crawfish,
                                                                                                                                                                          gumbo a bit more difficult to get right.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. For Washington, D.C., the DC half-smoke.


                                                                                                                                                                            You can probably order them from Canales. Their website isn't finished, but their contact info is on there.


                                                                                                                                                                              1. I'll pipe in for North Dakota (who else will; there's so few of us who've lived there).

                                                                                                                                                                                Strong Norwegian and otherwise north European influences makes "lefse" a distinctive item, a white, unleavened flatbread usually rolled with sugar and cinammon:


                                                                                                                                                                                Then, as someone mentioned above in connection with Minnesota, there's "hot dish," although I don't recall cream of mushroom soup being requisite. The essentials of the inspecifically named hot-dish are that it can be made on stovetop, and it involves ground beef, onions, macaroni, tomato sauce, and cheese all cooked into a big glop.

                                                                                                                                                                                About which, I have a story. I was in North Dakota because my father's Air Force career took us there. We never made hot dish in our household. But years after I left and was a college student in CA, I organized an international potluck with all the people in my apartment building, who came from, literally, all over the world. The idea: bring a food from where you're from.

                                                                                                                                                                                People brought Thai foods, Indian foods, Arab pastries, BBQ, you name it. I decided I'd make hot dish, because I wasn't really from any one place. Went to the store and could not find the Velveeta cheese, because I never bought it otherwise and didn't realize that it actually isn't a refridgerated product with the other cheeses. (Instead, Velveeta is a shelf stable item next to the motor oil.) So I used Colby cheese and finished the whole thing in the oven instead of on the stovetop, because of the needed quantity.

                                                                                                                                                                                The upshot? Hot dish was by far the most popular food at the party. I can never forget that occasion.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Connecticut:
                                                                                                                                                                                  hot buttered lobster rolls.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Clam rolls (kinda like a biscuit with the clams baked in)
                                                                                                                                                                                  Good New Haven-style pizza
                                                                                                                                                                                  steamers (might also be a rhode island thing)
                                                                                                                                                                                  Grinders!! (yeah it's just the name, but ONLY in CT)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. From the North Coast of California: you could serve barbequed salmon with The World's Largest Salmon BBQ sauce (butter and herb-based, and delicious) San Fransisco Sourdough Bread (Boudain's is a good starting point; and they ship). Is abalone available to you? That's a real local prize. If it's available but high in cost, "Scalone" is an option: a breaded, flash-fried patty of scallops and abalone, ground and seasoned, egg-washed, floured and panko'd. Olallieberrie shakes or pie, but those are seasonal and could be difficult to source. On to the noble artichoke, either steamed and served with clarified or brown butter to dip (we like curry butter on ours, or we stuff with breadcrumbs, shrimp, garlic, herbs and suchlike) which represents Watsonville, Ca. A great wine-poached pear cake with frangipane base could represent Napa nicely, and so could a grape pie of some type. Have a great time with your culinary get-togethers!!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                      +10 on artichokes
                                                                                                                                                                                      I stuff w/bread crumbs, garlic, romano, and a drizzle of olive oil before cooking

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Montana:

                                                                                                                                                                                      Elk, Bison, Rainbow Trout, Walleye
                                                                                                                                                                                      Huckleberries in any form
                                                                                                                                                                                      Our wheat industry could be represented by some Montana pasta, or find Kamut, which got its start in Fort Benton

                                                                                                                                                                                      Cool thread... even if it is almost 6 years old.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Here is a bizarre one I remember from Indiana: Chicken and Noodles served on top of mashed potatoes! Never got that one....

                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                          I grew up in Iowa and my mother always made fresh mashed potatoes whenever she made beef and/or turkey and noodles. Her sauce for each was thick like gravy and being of Irish descent, potatoes have to be served in some fashion for every meal. So, this was the service of choice! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                                                                                                                            And on every school cafeteria menu in Indiana, at least once a week! I wonder if they still do that there....

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                              My guess is yes ... Back in my school days [1970's], the cafeteria also served up hamburger gravy atop of mashed potatoes too.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                                                                                                                                They also did that in Ohio in the 70s and early 80s.

                                                                                                                                                                                                That was the day that you either packed a lunch or snuck out to the local McDs/DQ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Kelli2006

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My Indiana school years were 64-77; no one wanted to escape it then except me! Everyone else gobbled the noodles on potatoes!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Central PA: venison, sticky buns, whoopie pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                            I must need glasses. I read "venison sticky buns" and thought WTF :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            Sticky buns and whoopie pies are staples in SE PA as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                            And don't forget scrapple, lebanon bologna and birch beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                              But is scrapple a typical PA thing? The first time I ever encountered it was in Baltimore...

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                I remember discussion and recipes for scrapple in Marcia Adam's Amish cookbooks. This would probably cover Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                  When I spent a few years in SE Ohio, there was never scrapple in the local market (of course, it was a small college town). But you're probably correct about it being found anywhere there's a well established Amish population.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  BTW . . . I saw this being made at a festival highlighting 19th c Amish farming, and it ain't pretty. Yet, I continue to enjoy it on occasion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Marcia Adams avoided the nasty bits in her recipe. Hers was a more sanitized version and it was very good. Not entirely authentic, but similar to the original.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                  There is always “Cincinnati Caviar.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My belief is when the Germans brought scrapple to the greater Cincinnati area of Ohio they ran into the Irish who had their steel cut oats aka pinhead oatmeal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This took the place of the cornmeal mush in the scrapple recipe and gave birth to Goetta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  People keep trying to trace this back to Europe but it seems to only exist in greater Cincinnati.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. check out the book West Coast Road Eats for the best regional foods in Washington, Oregon and California.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Chris...good old fashioned clam chowder, Steaned clams with a cup of butter for each person for dunking. (I think I could eat a bushel by myself.) fried clams. Wonderful friend haddock, onion rings and french fries. Now we can't say this is non fattening, but boy it is food for the kinds. Enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. My wife and I actually have made this our profession, so I understand your desire perfectly. We go by city and are trying to hit the world! Take a look at what we have thus far.