From fried green tomatoes in Alabama to cheese curds in Wisconsin, the US melting pot influences a list of the best foods to eat in each U.S. state.
Drawing on recommendations from locals, Business Insider came up with the list, which also includes foods that can’t be found elsewhere in the country. Here’s a sampling.
The top food in California — a fish taco — is undoubtedly influenced by Mexico, its neighbor to the south as well as its large Latino community. California is home to the largest Hispanic population in the nation.
In Delaware, it’s all about vinegar French fries. The potatoes are soaked in vinegar and then refrigerated before being fried.
In Hawaii, where 16.7 percent of the population is of Japanese ancestry, spam musubi is the delicacy to try. Hawaiians were introduced to spam during World War II, and the Japanese who lived there used the pre-cooked, canned meat to develop this sushi roll made of grilled Spam, sticky rice, and nori seaweed.
New Orleans’ working-class specialty – the “Poor Boy” sandwich, is said to have been invented in 1929 to feed striking trolley car workers – the original “poor boys.” Generally known as the po’boy, the sandwich can be stuffed with roast beef and gravy, fried oysters or shrimp, spicy smoked sausage or any variation you can imagine.
Toasted ravioli is said to have originated when someone dropped ravioli in the deep fryer. No one knows for sure who invented it, but most believe this fried ravioli dish originated in “the Hill,” the Italian neighborhood of St. Louis. Today, less than 4 percent of the state’s population claims Italian ancestry, according to Ancestry & Ethnicity in America.
This state is known for its berries. In particular, the marionberry’s complex flavor makes it a popular choice for pie fillings.
Shrimp and grits — fresh shrimp served with simmered milled corn — is a staple dish in South Carolina. Originally eaten for breakfast, there are several variations of the popular dish which can be served with different ingredients including bacon, garlic, lemon, mushrooms, sausage, tomato, butter sauce or a fried egg.
Kuchen — the German word for “cake” — is the official state dessert of South Dakota. There are several varieties of this dish, including pie-like pastries, coffee cakes, cheesecakes and rolled pastries. People of German ancestry account for almost 44 percent of the state’s population.
All cheese starts out as curds. In Wisconsin, these curds are deep-fried in beer batter and served with dipping sauces. Immigrants from Switzerland, Germany and other places in Europe, brought their cheese-making traditions with them to Wisconsin, which is the leading producer of cheese in the United States.
To see the complete list of the best foods to eat in each U.S. state, head over to Business Insider.
Comments welcome. Here are VOA’s guidelines.
There are two important battles in the food wars. In the pizza division it’s New York City against Chicago. Personally I favor NYC. Having lived in California I can attest that by comparison their pizza technology is primitive and would not be viable on the NYC market.
The other war is for the best BBQ spare ribs. It’s the dry rub versus the wet mop, mustard based preparations versus the tomato based preparations, Saint Louis style versus baby backs. Sorry Texas, beef spare ribs while good are not in the same league with pork ribs.
Americans may be united on many things but who makes the best ribs is about as contentious as the causes of the Civil War.