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What Dish Is Your State Famous For, i.e., What Was Invented There?

I was reading the New Mexico thread about Huevos Rancheros and started wondering which dishes originated in my home state of California. I know that Cobb Salad was supposed to have been invented at the Brown Derby (or something like that) in Hollywood, but that Caesar Salad was supposed to have been invented just south of the Califa border in Tijuana.

I was trying to think of other dishes but couldn't come up with any. So what dish(es) originated in Oklahoma or Montana or New Jersey?

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    1. The particular variant of a crab salad called crab louis was supposedly concocted in San Francisco (though some say Portland). Cioppino is also identified with S.F. though it's obviously based on Mediterrean dishes.

      Also, several creole and Cajun recipes.

      1. Hot Fudge Sundaes ~~ CCBrown
        Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas ~~ Balboa Island
        French Dip Sandwich ~~ Phillippe's
        Green Goddess Dressing ~~ Palace Hotel

        1. Hangtown fry was invented, according to myth, in Hangtown, California (now Placerville). And some claim the Martini was invented in Martinez, California.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Michael Rodriguez

            Since the "Martini" was named for the Martini and Rossi vermouth used in the original cocktail, I suspect this claim is more based in local boosterism than fact.

            1. re: KevinB

              I thought the consensus was that the drink was derived from the Martinez cocktail.

          2. I beleive chile was invented in San Antonio Texas.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Analisas mom

              I thought it was borrowed from the natives after the Pueblo Revolt in 1580 in Sante Fe, New Mexico! How about New Mexican (stuffed) soppapilla?
              "Anaheim" chiles from New Mexico?

            2. I live near the birthplace of potato chips (Saratoga Springs, NY) and pie à la mode (Cambridge, NY).

              1. Pasta Primavera was invented right here in New York City. Vichyssoise too, if I'm not mistaken...

                3 Replies
                1. re: sea97horse

                  Vichysoisse is a French soup. I don't think the Americans invented everything!

                  1. re: smartie

                    There are disputes about the origins of the soup.... most say it was invented by a French Chef in New York which is based on a hot version of the French soup.

                    1. re: smartie

                      Really? The cold version was invented by Louis Diat in NY. It's the warm Potage Parmentier that's French.

                  2. The Boston version of Baked Beans (w/maple syrup and pork fat).... ...and Beeno !
                    New England Clam Chowda
                    Boston Cream Pie (Parker House Hotel)

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: pondrat

                      Boston baked beans use molasses, because molasses was a byproduct of the Triangle Trade in which the city partook (just up the Mystic River was where the source of once-famous Medford rum).

                      Maple syrup is characteristic of interior northern New England (famously, interior Maine) baked beans, and I prefer to use it over molasses.

                      * * *
                      Parker House Rolls
                      Indian Pudding
                      Toll House Cookies
                      Fried clams
                      Brown Bread
                      Boiled dinner
                      Baked schrod
                      Anything cod, fresh & salt, including codfish cakes - After all, the Sacred Cod hangs above the General Court in the State House in Boston, as it was the foundation of the state's original economy.

                      1. re: Karl S

                        Wasn't chowder borrowed from the French Quebecois chaudiere?
                        The Maine neon red, red snapper hot dog?
                        Where did the mayo lobster roll come from?

                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                          Don't know about diary based chowder, but Manhattan clam chowder is believed to get its origin in RI from the Portuguese immigrants. New Englander's disdain for tomatoes in their chowder lead to them calling it Manhattan style.

                          1. re: LStaff

                            Actually, research of 19th century cookbook and the fact that due to high acid content tomatoes were one of the first veggies canned, show that tomatoes were used in Mass & Maine chowders in the 1850's. I read somewhere that the white New England and red Manhattan chowder war started about the same time Babe Ruth left the Red Sox and absconded to the Yankees. What fun.

                    2. Texas is probably the home of chicken-fried steak origin.......

                      1. Texas is the home of the Texas-style enchilada with yellow cheese rolled inside and a beef chili lavishly ladled over the enchilada.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: mdelno

                          The spice blend used in making Texas chili had it's origin in New Braunfels, Texas.

                          History: In 1892, German immigrant William Gebhardt opened a café in the back of Miller's Saloon in New Braunfels, Texas. One of the most popular dishes was his chili, but it could only be a seasonal dish, as his chilies were homegrown. To get around this problem, Gebhardt ran chilies through a meat grinder three times and dried the resulting product to make one of the first chili powders. Later, Gebhardt would add other seasonings to his powder, including cumin, oregano, and black pepper. At first he called the product "Tampico Dust," but he later changed the name to "Gebhardt's Eagle Chili Powder."

                          In 1896, Gebhardt opened a factory in San Antonio and was producing five cases of chili powder a week, which he sold from the back of his wagon as he drove through town. He was also an inventor and eventually patented 37 machines for his factory.

                          1. re: mdelno

                            German Chocolate Cake was created by a Texas homemaker using Baker's German-brand Chocolate and was first published in a Dallas newspaper in 1957. From there it very quickly gained popularity and increased sales for Baker's. Now it is a nationwide favorite.

                            1. re: mdelno

                              That was great info I always was told that chile started out in SA now we know why.

                          2. I live in England. I think we invented boiled cabbage.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Peg

                              Amongst a wide array of other boiled foods ?? :)

                              1. re: Peg

                                The Russians claim the cabbage too. How about the paragon of British fine dining, the chip butee?

                              2. Guess where California rolls are from? Give up? D'oh!!!

                                1. New Jerey - Pork Roll.....Bon Jovi and Springsteen......


                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: RPMcMurphy

                                    Stick to the music, New Jersey. I'm from Wisconsin where if charcoal roasted corn on the cob wasn't actually invented there, I'm sure that the big vats of melted butter to drown it in were.

                                      1. re: RPMcMurphy

                                        Please add the best sandwich in the world to NJ (via Cuba) origins...THE REAL SLOPPY JOE


                                        1. re: jfood

                                          The North Jersey Italian hot dog.

                                        2. re: RPMcMurphy

                                          Mmmm..pork roll. It may not be famous. (No one outside of Jersey knows it it seems.) But it may be delicious. Trenton born nonetheless if I am right. I too was born in Trenton...what a combo..pork roll and Champale. Boys..that will impress the ladies.

                                        3. Originally from Pennsylvania--shoofly pie and cheesesteaks!

                                          Now in Indiana--if they didn't invent the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich here, they certainly seem to own it now! I think it's the semi-official food.

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: nofunlatte

                                            And for us Phily area folks lets not forget scrapple, tastycakes and lebanon bologna,

                                            1. re: pondrat

                                              Ah, what I wouldn't do for a Peanut Butter Kandy Kake or Butterscotch Krimpet! Sigh, it'll have to wait until I visit the folks for the holidays.

                                              Yes, and Lebanon Bologna and Cream Cheese Rollups are such a fine treat.

                                              1. re: nofunlatte

                                                If you get desperate go to the online store at: http://www.tastykake.com/

                                                I resell them to the Boston guys who' i"ve passed the addiction along to.. I've also seen them at some Star Markets

                                                Seltzers Lebanon Bologna is pretty easy to find in a decent deli section.

                                              2. re: pondrat

                                                Scrapple! Mmmmmmmmmm, one of my life-long favorites. My dad used to make it for breakfast. There's a cafe on the touristy 4th Street in Berkeley, CA called Bette's Diner which serves Scrapple and eggs. It's the only place I can get it. Tried to home-make it, but it didn't taste the same.

                                                1. re: oakjoan

                                                  Make it at home ??? Where did you get the pig snouts ?? :))

                                                2. re: pondrat

                                                  Oh, shoofly pie and tastycakes - I'm salivating. Thank g-d Publix has Tastycake.

                                                3. re: nofunlatte

                                                  Yep, the Hoosier sandwich. Real sliced breaded pork. No ground meat.

                                                4. Smithfield ham from Virginia. Preserved with salt & smoke, you need to cut the mold off the outside and soak it for 2 days to bring it back to life before you heat it through in the oven with a nice glaze on top. Dlice it paper thin, put it on a biscuit with a little grainy homemade mustard. Mmmm!

                                                  And if Virginia didn't invent the crab cake with the wonderful blue crabs here, then surely Maryland beat us to it by only 2 or 3 minutes.

                                                  Oh, and first Thanksgiving was in Virginia, too. Don't believe that Pilgrim hokum.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: weezycom

                                                    Texas Sheet Cake [sometimes called Texas Sheath Cake]. "Food historians haven't pinned down the origins of the name, but FoodTimeline.org says Lady Bird Johnson sometimes gets the credit for it."

                                                    1. re: weezycom

                                                      "And if Virginia didn't invent the crab cake with the wonderful blue crabs here, then surely Maryland beat us to it by only 2 or 3 minutes."

                                                      What about North Carolina? Crabcakes, fried soft shell crabs, shrimp & grits, yum.

                                                    2. Florida, at least South Florida, is famous for the blue hair special, i.e. when we feed all the snowbirds around 4 in the afternoon and they stuff all the rolls in their purses and take the Splenda back to their condos.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: steakman55

                                                        steakmass55: Rotfl! I just saw the Seinfeld episode where Jerry talks his parents out of eating at 4:00 to take advantage of the senior special. They arrive at the restaurant to find a big crowd of condo residents just leaving. This group is sure that Jerry's dad must be stealing from the general fund because he's paying full price for dinner.

                                                      2. My home province of Quebec is known for such things as "tourtiere" (a meat pie), "tarte au sucre" (sugar pie), but is perhaps best known for "poutine" - hot french fries, covered with fresh cheese curds and doused with brown gravy.

                                                        And there are many who consider "Montreal Smoked Meat" a far superior experience to corned beef or pastrami.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: KevinB

                                                          Don't forget cretan, boudan and the Acadian ployes

                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                            one won't ever find what you are naming: it is creton and boudin.
                                                            yum.. poutine!

                                                        2. Here's one.....I don't eat it but...Ranch salad dressing was originally created in Alaska - the family then moved to CA and thats where they realized the popularity of dresssing and produced commercially.

                                                          1. Maine: the Whoopy Pie (via the Pennsylvania Dutch during the Civil War?)

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                              Made to be washed down with Moxie !

                                                              (invented as a patent medicine in MA but now Maine's state drink)

                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                If it's a PA Dutch pie, then it's WHOOPIE pie.

                                                                I once bought the world's largest pumpkin whoopie pie at some Amish farmstand--bought it for a friend's birthday. He was very impressed (with the size AND taste).

                                                                Maine surely must have some potato invention!

                                                                1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                  I live in Boston but grew up in Philly where my family still resides. So I'm in no position to make or defend claims for Maine !

                                                                  Although the image of Amish making Whoopie is a stretch :))

                                                                  1. re: pondrat

                                                                    The Mainers learned of Whoopie pies at Gettysberg and I can't spell.
                                                                    Pitz in Hazleton, Pa.

                                                              2. Thanks to the 1904 World's Fair, us in St. Louis have lots of claims. Just ask our friends at Wikipedia....

                                                                A number of foods are claimed to have been invented at the fair. The most widely accepted claim is that the waffle-style ice cream cone was invented and first sold during the fair. Other claims are more dubious, including the hamburger and hot dog (both traditional American foods), peanut butter, iced tea, and cotton candy. It is more likely, however, that these food items were first introduced to mass audiences and popularized by the fair. Dr Pepper and Puffed Wheat cereal were first introduced to a national audience at the fair.

                                                                Iced tea had been available for a few years prior to the fair, but it was popularized at the fair.

                                                                1. Dr Pepper, created in Waco, Tx in the 1890's.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: mdelno

                                                                    Pepsi - first made in New Bern, North Carolina in the early 1890s by pharmacist Caleb Bradham. First called "Brad's drink", was changed to "Pepsi-Cola" and trademarked in 1903. (thanks to Wikipedia)

                                                                  2. The sine qua non of the home cook, the can opener, was invented in Waterbury, Connecticut. Other Nutmeg state food related innovations are the lollipop (shared with Racine), and Eggs Benedict, invented on E. C. Benedict’s yacht of the CT coast, and the ice-making machine.
                                                                    While it was invented in Austria, Pez candy is made in Orange, Ct.
                                                                    While certain New Haven enterpreneurs claim the invention of the American pizza and the hamburger-on-a-bun, we can only be certain of Frank Pepe’s innovation, the white clam pizza, and O’Rourke’s Middletown brainchild, the steamed hamburger.
                                                                    CT made Frisbee pie tins were the inspiration for the ultimate toy fad.
                                                                    Tubular bird feeders were invented here. (Hey you just said food, not person food!)
                                                                    Finally, we know the submarine was invented in my very own home town (although the sub sandwich was purportedly a New London product).

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: DonShirer

                                                                        Been here for 5 years and never knew CT had such "claims to foodie fame"!

                                                                        Pizza, however, I did know about. Frank Pepe's is bliss!

                                                                        1. The shopping cart was invented in Oklahoma City by a local grocer wanting to increase sales.

                                                                          Nice article here:


                                                                          1. According to Smokey Hale, barbecued brisket smoked over mesquite is a nasty joke that Texans have perpetrated on the rest of the county. He objects to both the cut of meat, which he characterizes as some kind of useless leftover, and the choice of wood, which he calls a noxious weed. So, I guess Texas can lay claim to Mesquite BBQ Brisket. We in Texas generally know that brisket is what separates a great BBQ place from the average. If you can manage to do it well, without drying it out, you are truly talented.

                                                                            Here is a link to his newsletter:


                                                                            1. Fluff from Lynn, Ma. and Fig Newton's from ..... Newton, Ma. Friendly's Ice Cream Chain. Chowder though is doubtful and the Pilgrims were repulsed by lobster!

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                Illinois, POPCORN, or its machine anyway. Italian beef sammichess, deep dish pizza.

                                                                                What a contribution! I confess I googled it.

                                                                                (Fluff--whew. Do they still make that stuff?)

                                                                                1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                                                                  Illinois (where I grew up):

                                                                                  Chicago: Deep dish (Uno's/Due's,Lou Malnati's,Gino's East) and stuffed pizza (Giordano's, Nancy's, Connie's), Chicago-style hot dogs (all beef dog on poppy seed roll with tomatoes, cukes, pickles, sport peppers, mustard, onions, neon green relish and celery salt), Maxwell St. Polish (smoked kielbasa on a roll with mustard and grilled onions), combo's (Italian beef and sausage on an Italian roll with sweet peppers, hot giardiniera and au jus).

                                                                                  Downstate: the horshoe. The basic 'shoe is one or two burger patties served open-faced on a roll, surrounded by fries (arranged in the horshoe shape) and the whole thing smothered in cheese sauce on a plate the size of a garbage can lid, but some of the diners in the Springfield area use this as a starting point (Yikes!)

                                                                                  Wisconsin: (where I live):

                                                                                  Fish fry (beer-battered cod with potato pancakes, coleslaw, apple sauce and rye bread, served family-style, all you can eat). The classic is at Milwaukee Serb Hall.

                                                                                  Sheboygan-style bratwurst: A coarse-ground bratwurst on a well-buttered hearty roll. The locals will laugh at you if you don't get a double (each sausage, mind you, is 1/4 pound). Served with brown mustard and sauerkraut. Slather some Merkt's or Kaukauna Club on if you dare!

                                                                                  Secret Stadium Sauce: Served at the defunct Milwaukee County Stadium and currently at Miller Park. It's basically a thin BBQ sauce, which the locals put on dogs. (To each his own -- growing up in Chicago, putting ketchup on a hot dog violated at least one city ordinance. The great Daily News columnist Mike Royko referred to it as "murdering your hot dog".)

                                                                                2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                  Which just made me think of the famous NECCO wafer from the New England Confection Co. in Revere, MA !

                                                                                  1. re: pondrat

                                                                                    Revere now, Cambridge second, invented in Boston. The New England Candy Company is the oldest still-producing candy company in the US.

                                                                                3. well, i realize we didn't invent bbq but we sure are famous for it here in NC

                                                                                  2 things we can claim: Pepsi and Cheerwine

                                                                                  1. Since I am from Mississippi, I would say fried lard. Actually Barq's Root Beer in Biloxi, MS, though most people think of it as a New Orleans creation. It found its greatest acceptance there.

                                                                                    Now, I'm in AZ and the "local" cuisine is an amalgam of SW Native American, New Mexican and Sonoran Mexican. I cannot think of any single item, or dish, that doesn't experience some of the influences of our neighboring states, or Mexico. Maybe Navajo frybread, but that possibly came up from Mexico some centuries ago.

                                                                                    Now, when I lived in Denver, Rocky Mountain oysters were often touted. Not sure that these did not originate in WY, or maybe TX. Still, attribution to eating them seems to reside with Denver. Only thing that I can think of is the cheeseburger, though others dispute that claim. Same for Harvey's wineburgers, or is that Phoenix?

                                                                                    Back when we lived in New Orleans, many dishes were considered to be totally local. However, many of the roots of these dishes came from Africa, the Caribbean and the environs of South Louisiana, outside of New Orleans proper. Maybe the muffaletta sandwich, which I believe was created in New Orleans. Now, they held the title for some popular cocktails, but that is a different thread.


                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                      The rocky mountain oysters are quite popular around Nevada also, especially around calf branding in the spring. Apparently, the most authentic way to eat them is in a shovel held over the coals (after they've been removed from their owner). Virginia City has a RM oyster festival every year.

                                                                                      1. re: nvcook

                                                                                        In Ky stack cake,Benedictine sandwich,burgoo, Derby pie, Bourbon,beer cheese, fried banana peppers,spoonbread

                                                                                        And the best dish ever...the hot brown

                                                                                        1. re: LaLa

                                                                                          Split my time growing up between the great states of Kentucky and Indiana. Mighty fine eatin' in both.

                                                                                          Had almost forgot fried banana peppers from Hall's on the river.

                                                                                          How about Kentucky hot kraut? Indiana tomato jelly?

                                                                                    2. Don't know if it's true, but the Margarita was supposedly invented in Dallas at a restaurant called Mariano's........but, if not, a big thank you to whoever did!

                                                                                      1. Oklahoma City: Fried Okra, Pecan Pie, Sliced Peanut Butter.

                                                                                        1. Ohio - Chef Boyardee.

                                                                                          Seriously. Not long ago (1940's-70's...though not exactly sure about the end date...may have been 80's) Il Giardino d'Italia was a popular restaurant in Cleveland. The owner was Hector Boiardi. He had a popular sauce which he sold in bottles. The rest is canned food history.