Sure, you know that every state has an official state bird, animal, or flower. But many states have official foods as well. Some are pretty normal, like a state fruit. Some states, however, have official foods that are much more imaginative. Here are nine of the funniest, most awesome, and craziest state foods out there.
1. State Soft Drink: Moxie, Maine
Originally intended to be medicine (similar to Moxie’s contemporary soft drink, Coca-Cola), this fizzy beverage was actually first manufactured in Massachusetts. Today, it’s produced in New Hampshire. So why is it Maine‘s official state soft drink? Its creator, Dr. Augustine Thompson, was a Mainer.
2. State Pastry: Cinnamon Roll, Colorado
Colorado isn’t the only state with an official pastry—Wisconsin also has one, the kringle. But why did Colorado choose the cinnamon roll to represent them in the baked goods department? We’re actually not sure, but—why not?
3. State Muffin: Coconut Muffin, Hawaii
You’d think Hawaii would have a state nut (macadamia) or a state fruit (pineapple), but no—it has a state muffin. And that’s a coconut muffin.
4. State Meat Pie: Nachitoches, Louisiana
Fun fact: Louisiana is the only state with an official meat pie. And it’s a good one: Nachitoches. Basically, Nachitoches is a fried pie shell stuffed with ground beef, pork, peppers, onions, and garlic. Sometimes, it’s served with rice and beans. We’re down.
5. State Snack: Yogurt, New York
Did you know that New York State is by far and away the top producer of yogurt in the United States? That Greek yogurt you eat for breakfast was most likely made there. The state is so proud of this fact that governor Andrew Cuomo designated yogurt the official New York State snack in 2014.
6. State Prepared Dish: Mystic Pizza, Connecticut
Yep, like the movie.
7. State Health Nut: Native Pecan, Texas
Why is it a state “health” nut? Why can’t it just be a regular old state nut? No offense, pecans, but you’re not all that healthy. Granted, next to Texas‘s state dish, chili con carne, you do look like the picture of health.
8. State Historic Vegetable: Sugar Beet, Utah
Sugar beet production in the United States began at the turn of the 20th century in Western states like California and Utah. As production began moving to the middle of the country during World War II, sugar beet farmers hired experienced Japanese workers who’d been interned after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
9. State Meal: Fried Okra, Squash, Cornbread, Barbecue Pork, Biscuits, Sausage and Gravy, Grits, Corn, Strawberries, Chicken-Fried Steak, Pecan Pie, and Black-Eyed Peas, Oklahoma
You can take your state dish. Or your state cookie. Heck, you can even take your state dessert. Oklahoma has an entire state meal—and quite the meal it is. We know where we’re heading for our next cookout.
For more food inspiration, check out AFAR’s Culinary Travel hub.