Popular Foods from Each U.S. State
Warning! Do not read this if you are hungry. We recently created the most delicious map you’ll ever see, because it features all 50 states and what food each state is known for. 34 states have “official” state foods, and most of them have more than a few! So, we decided to learn a bit more about each state’s eminent eats. We chose one food per state to feature. Let the smorgasbord begin!
Alabama – Pecans
Everyone goes nuts for pecans. In fact, the pecan has been Alabama’s state nut since 1982.
Alaska – Salmon
Salmon is king, especially King Salmon. You can’t step foot in Alaska without hearing about the salmon. There are five species of Alaska salmon – king (or chinook), red (sockeye), pink (humpys), silver (coho), and chum (sometimes called dog).
Arizona – Chimichangas
This tasty Tex-Mex dish is a large burrito that has stood the taste-test of time. Fun fact! Apparently, chimichanga is the Spanish equivalent of “thingamajig.”
Arkansas – Tomatoes
Ketchup, everyone – vine-ripe tomatoes are the state fruit and vegetable. The state fruit AND the state vegetable of Arkansas is the tomato, so it’s no wonder ketchup is so popular among Razorbacks.
California – Avocado
Everyone’s favorite toast topping is plentiful in Cali! In fact, there is even a community in Fresno County called Avocado, California.
Colorado – Steak
Beef. It’s what’s for dinner. In Colorado. Cattle ranches abound in this state, much to the delight of meat lovers.
Connecticut – White clam pizza
Clams on pizza? That’s right. No sauce. No mozzarella. Just olive oil, fresh Connecticut clams, parmesan, and some seasonings.
Delaware – Blue Hen Chicken
Blue hen chicken – state bird, state university mascot. It became the state bird in 1939, and Delaware is one of only three states to select a non-native bird.
Florida – Oranges
Orange you glad you had some juice today? No surprise here! But surprisingly, the orange didn’t officially become the state fruit until 2005.
Georgia – Peaches
Wonder why it’s called “The Peach State?” Pass the peaches, please! Peach tea, peach pie, peach ice cream – it’s all just peachy down in Georgia.
Hawaii – Pineapple
Sweet, sweet pineapple. Did you know – more than one-third of the world’s commercial supply of pineapples comes from Hawaii.
Idaho – Potatoes
One potato, two potato, three potato, more! Potatoes abound in Idaho. Many say the soil, clear water, clean air and climate there make potatoes superior to any potato grown anywhere else.
Indiana – Sugar Cream Pie
Thank you, Shakers and Quakers. The ingredients are simple – sugar, cream, vanilla, maybe a little nutmeg – but any Hoosier will tell you this pie is where it’s at!
Iowa – Corn
So that’s why corn mazes are so good around here! This state leads the nation in corn production. There is even an “Official Website of Iowa Corn” – Iowacorn.com.
Kansas – BBQ
Whichever style you like it, BBQ is an American staple. Kansas City style ‘que is rubbed with spices and slow-smoked, then slathered in a tomato-based sauce, a unique part of KC BBQ.
Kentucky – Blackberries
Blackberries, as big and juicy, as you can imagine. These little tart sweeties became Kentucky’s official state fruit in 2004.
Louisiana – Gumbo
Gumbo, the metaphor for Creole that you can eat. Ahh, Louisiana. Arguably the state known most for its cuisine. Gumbo is packed with seafood, sausage, okra…are you drooling yet?
Maine – Lobster
Lobster, duh. This really needs no further explanation.
Maryland – Blue Crab
Try the blue crab, especially in cake form. Blue crab is so popular in Maryland, it’s commonly referred to as “the Maryland crab.”
Massachusetts – Clam Chowder
Lots of official foods here, but oddly enough clam chowder isn’t one of them! We chose it anyway.
Michigan – Cherries
Enough for a cherry on top of everything. 70-75% of Montmorency tart cherries and 20% of sweet cherries grown in the U.S. come from Michigan. Fun fact! Traverse City, MI is known as the Cherry Capital of the World.
Minnesota – Wild Rice
You know what’s wild around here? Rice. It became the official state grain in 1977.
Mississippi – Biscuits
Close to, and always working on, the perfect biscuit. You know you’re in the deep south when you get a delicious, homemade biscuit.
Missouri – Ice Cream
The show me ice cream state. Apparently, they love ice cream in Missouri. So much in fact, the ice cream cone was deemed the official state dessert in 2008.
Montana – Huckleberries
Keep it wild and juicy. Sometimes mistaken for large blueberries, huckleberries actually have a very different and distinct taste.
Nebraska – Popcorn
More of it pops here than anywhere in the US of A. There are popcorn companies galore in Nebraska, and you can find the popable snack pretty much everywhere statewide.
Nevada – Chateaubriand
Difficult to pronounce, easy to devour. Chateaubriand is a dish of a large beef fillet that is grilled between two lower-quality pieces of meat that are discarded after cooking. Usually served with a sauce of white wine, shallots, butter, tarragon, and lemon juice, this dish is common among Las Vegas steakhouses.
New Hampshire – Lobster Rolls
Sorry, Maine, but New Hampshire knows how to do a lobster roll right.
New Jersey – Blueberries
The Garden State is berry bountiful. Jersey’s state fruit is the northern highbush blueberry.
New Mexico – Chiles
So big it created an official state question – Red, green or Christmas? Is it getting hot in here? The New Mexican chile is New Mexico’s state vegetable – go figure!
New York – Cheesecake
Started in ancient Greece, perfected in New York. You can literally find any kind of cuisine in NYC, but the cheesecake is what keeps us coming back.
North Carolina – Strawberries
Officially, it’s the state red berry. Can you guess the state blue berry? Interestingly enough, the state fruit just happens to be the…Scuppernong grape?
North Dakota – Chokecherry
The bigger, stronger cousin of the black cherry is sometimes called the bitter-berry.
Ohio – Pawpaw
A sweet fruit, and the name you might give a grandparent. Fun fact! The pawpaw is the largest edible fruit native to North America. In Ohio, there’s even an entire festival dedicated to this funnily-named fruit.
Oklahoma – Watermelon
Seed-spitting contests have got to be big time here, too. The watermelon is Oklahoma’s state…vegetable? Yes, we’re confused too.
Oregon – Pears
800 million grown each year. Look it up. In fact, 84% of the country’s pear crop comes from the Pacific Northwest.
Pennsylvania – Cheesesteaks
Wiz wit or wiz witout? No need for veggies here. Steak, melted cheese, and bread all the way.
Rhode Island – Frozen Lemonade
It’s sweet, it’s sour, it’s ice cold and it is refreshing. As if lemonade wasn’t delicious enough, RI went ahead and made a slushie out of it!
South Carolina – Boiled peanuts
AKA “goober peas,” it’s the official state snack. And yes, you can eat the entire thing, shell and all.
South Dakota – Kuchen
German for “cake,” it’s the official state dessert. The word is also used in other languages as the name for several different types of savory or sweet desserts.
Tennessee – Hot Chicken
Coming in hot, hotter, or hottest. Going to Nashville? You gotta try it.
Texas – Texas Toast
Everything IS bigger in Texas, including the toast. Thick, buttery Texas toast is sometimes slathered in garlic because, why not?
Utah – Jell-o
It’s the state snack-o. Kids in Utah must looooove snack time.
Vermont – Maple syrup
Glug, glug, glug. Did you know – it takes 40 gallons of sap to make each gallon of maple syrup. Did someone say pancakes?
Virginia – Ham
BYO green eggs. Put it in your scrambled eggs, or slap it on a biscuit. Virginia country ham is salty, smoky, and delicious.
Washington – Coffee
Goes great with rain. Starbucks (ever heard of it?) was founded in Seattle, WA.
West Virginia – Apples
Golden, delicious. It’s fall in West Virginia. Must. Go. Apple. Picking.
Wisconsin – Cheese
The undisputed dairy darlings since 1910. They are called cheeseheads for a reason…
Wyoming – Soda bread
A pioneer favorite, thanks to the Native Americans who shared it first. It’s made with sodium bicarbonate as a leavening agent instead of the traditional yeast. All we know is this – carbs are life.
Teachers – order your own copy of the State Foods map for your classroom by clicking here. Snack time, anyone?