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Oct 3, 2012 11:53 PM

Swing state dishes

Every election we hold a no partisan political discussion to educate each other about all ballot items - and of course we throw dinner for 30-50 people, served buffet style. We've done Mexican several times, California cuisine, middle eastern.

This year I thought it would be fun to do a "swing state theme"

Here are the swing states - help me identify dishes that are unique to those states. OK if you don't have a recipe.

Florida: Key lime pie
New Mexico
North Carolina

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  1. Buckeyes from Ohio, of course. (Peanut butter candy half-dipped in chocolate.)
    NC barbecue no question
    When I think of Iowa I always think of rhubarb pie, which is a constant in the restaurants around Amana or at least used to be.
    Michigan - pasties
    Lots in New Mexico and Pennsylvania - others will have specifics.
    Wisconsin CHEESE, of course!

    1. pennsylvania isn't much of a swing state. . . but i would recommend skipping the cheese steak.

      go with haluski. it isn't completely unique to pa, it shows up where ever you have a bunch of slovaks and pollocks.

      1. Florida: grouper chowder, Minorcan chowder, Cuban sandwich (Tampa vs Miami style is a whole 'nother debate topic!), Greek salad Louis Pappas style

        Iowa - Loose meat sandwich

        Michigan - cherry something

        North Carolina - bbq, Brunswick stew

        Wisconsin - fried cheese curds! Hot dish

        Virginia - Cream of peanut butter soup, Smithfield Ham

        2 Replies
        1. re: meatn3

          Also, conch fritters and conch chowder for FL.

          Great call on the Iowa loose meat sandwich (AKA Maid-rites). I spent a year in Gainesville FL, and there was a loose-meat sandwich shop run by an ex-Iowan. Really good and reasonably healthy.

          Here in VA, we just refer to Peanut Soup. I was quite dubious, but I like it a lot.

          For NC, you've gotta pick a style of bbq -- Eastern or Western/Lexington.

          1. re: Bob W

            Steamers! Right across the street from the UF campus.

        2. Here is a link that did not come up in my initial search. I should know to use the google site search feature instead of embedded search engines!

          1. Michigan is pretty solidly blue these days, but if you want a Michigan recipe you can't go wrong with sour cherry pie. Pasties are also good, as are coneys (Detroit style).

            For North Carolina, you might try Eastern NC bbq, which is pulled pork with a vinegar-based sauce.