Your taste, your town
Verdict: If your idea of a Sloppy Joe can only involve deli meats, coleslaw, and thin-sliced rye, and if you call it a "regular Joe" or a "Jersey Joe" to distinguish it from the stuff your out-of-state friends make with Manwich, then you're probably from New Jersey.
Looking for a more healthy sandwich alternative? Try these healthy sandwich recipes at home.
Rocky Mountain Oysters
Although Eagle, Idaho, claims to have the "World's Largest Rocky Mountain Oyster Feed" during its Eagle Fun Days, a festival held during the second weekend of July, you'll find "testical festivals" in Montana, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, and Ohio. And even if you can't make it to a festival, many restaurants and bars in Montana, Idaho, Kansas, and Wyoming serve Rocky Mountain oysters all year long.
Verdict: If you wax poetic over this tender, fried delicacy, you're most likely from one of the aforementioned states. If you call them "tendergroins," you're probably from Montana, in which case you've probably partaken of this local delicacy while spending a summer day at the Montana State Fair.
Fried cheese curds
Cheese curds are an important part of poutine, which is the unofficial national comfort-food of Canada but is also enjoyed all over the United States. They're available wherever dairy production is in high gear. But "there's nothing more Wisconsin than a cheese curd," according to Eat Curds, which displays a vast number of places where you can find them fresh in Wisconsin.
Verdict: If you like cheese curds apart from your poutine, and if you like them fresh out of the cheese-making vat—and if you understand why it's important that they're squeaky when you eat them, we're going to have to guess you're from Wisconsin, which is, after all, "America's Dairyland."
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Verdict: If you wouldn't even think of eating a "clam chowder" that involves anything resembling tomatoes, then you're probably from New England. And no matter where you're from, when in New England, be sure to give traditional "clam chowder" a try. Just try not to think about the calories. If you're watching your waistline, these are the soups to eat instead.
Lobster with drawn butter
And there's a special reason why lobster from Maine is so special: From mid-June to November, lobsters in the cold, clean waters of Maine shed their shells and reveal new, larger ones underneath—the result: Maine New Shell Lobster. As the lobsters grow into their newly formed shell, there is a gap between the meat and the shell that seawater fills, allowing it to naturally marinate the meat, resulting in what many (especially natives of Maine) will agree is the sweetest, most tender, most "lobster-y lobster" on the planet.
Verdict: If you probably wouldn't eat lobster that doesn't come from Maine, or if you'd go so far as to admit that you wouldn't eat lobster outside of Maine's state lines, then you're probably from Maine. If it doesn't bother you that you've made a meal out of an animal that might have otherwise lived to be 140 years old, then you're definitely from Maine!
Verdict: If you even know what a chipati is, let alone feel it's the best sandwich you've ever tasted, then you're definitely from Ann Arbor, or you spent your college years there.
Did you know that the University of Michigan is the most selective college in Michigan? This infographic shows the hardest colleges to get into in each of the 50 states.
If you watched Fortitude, you also know that "the truth about lutefisk is you should never eat lutefisk." But try telling that to Norway and Sweden, where the dish originated. And try telling that to Madison, Minnesota, which has dubbed itself the "lutefisk capital of the world." But lutefisk is really a thing all over the state of Minnesota, where "lutefisk dinners" are annual traditions at scores of Lutheran churches and Nordic fraternal groups. That said, the Swedish-Americans tend to prepare their lutefish with allspice seasoning, while the Norwegian-Americans tend to prefer it unseasoned.
Verdict: Although lutefisk is served wherever you'll find large numbers of Scandinavian-Americans, if you've got an opinion on how it should be prepared, then you're probably from Minnesota, which, by the way, is the setting for the iconic Sinclair Lewis book, Main Street. Find out the most iconic book set in each of the 50 states.
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King cake had its origins in Europe and came to be associated with the Catholic celebration of Epiphany (on January 6) in the Middle Ages. French versions tend to be made with flaky pastry. The version served in Louisiana, and specifically, New Orleans, is more like that which originated in Spain.
Verdict: If your idea of king cake involves a cake-bread dough that's decorated in the colors associated with Mardi Gras (green, gold, and purple), then you're probably from Louisiana, and quite possibly from New Orleans.
No matter where you're from, it's pretty likely that you don't really know how to slice a cake. Learn what science has to teach us about cutting a cake.
Apparently, these 350-pound animals store fat outside their muscles, which means there's no marbling—just incredibly lean meat. Reindeer meat is also a rich source of omega-3 and essential fatty acids, so much so that it's comparable to fish, according to scientists at the University of Norway. True connoisseurs like to eat it raw, and it's safe to do so, at least in Alaska because it's herded cleanly and safely on Alaska's tundra, specifically on St. Lawrence, Unimak, and Umnak Islands.
Verdict: If you when you think of reindeer, you're thinking of a delicious dish that is best served raw, rather than as the beasts that lead Santa's sleigh on Christmas, then you're probably from Alaska. If you don't mind eating reindeer despite that some people keep reindeer as pets, you're almost definitely from Alaska.
Shoofly pie contains no eggs, most likely because many of the Pennsylvania Dutch do not use electricity, and eggs don't store well without electricity. Its rising agent is baking powder, which Pennsylvania Dutch bakers began to use in the late 1870s. Some say the name comes from a brand of molasses, "Shoofly Molasses," which was named after "Shoofly, the Boxing Mule," a popular circus animal that toured in Pennsylvania in the 1800s. Others say it's just so darn sweet that attracts flies.
Verdict: Shoofly pie can be sampled all over the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, according to the Amish Country News. If you're a fan, you're probably from Pennsylvania, and possibly from Lancaster County. If you've never been to the Amish Country, think about staying at the Red Caboose Motel, which is one of the most unusual hotels in the nation.
- Some people who grew up in other areas of the country may take issue with non-New York bagels (usually, this means that they, themselves, grew up in New York, or come from a New York-based family).
- If you're a New Yorker, you will be willing to eat a bagel outside of New York if it was shipped from New York, as was formerly the case with H&H bagels, which for many decades epitomized New York bagels and were shipped all over the world.
- New Yorkers do not lose their New York cred for eating a non-New York bagel if while doing so, they make sure to remark (and hopefully, more than once), "This isn't a bagel! This is a roll! How can they call this a bagel?"
Why are New Yorkers so snobby about their bagels? Some say it's the water. Any bagel worth its poppy-seeds is actually a "water bagel." True New York bagels are always water bagels, which means they're boiled in water before baking. But without New York's water, well, good luck with that, folks. And here's another fun fact: Whereas sliced bagels are subject to sales tax in New York, whole bagels are not.
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The first barbecue may have taken place in Alexandria, Virginia in 1769, and may have been attended by George Washington. The core region for barbecue is the Southeast. While barbecue is found outside of this region (such as Kansas and Texas), the 14 core barbecue states contain 70 of the top 100 barbecue restaurants, and most top barbecue restaurants outside the region have their roots there.
Verdict: If your idea of barbecue is quickly searing a steak and veggies over a hot grill, then you're clearly not from the Southeast (and you should be calling it "grilling," as opposed to "barbecue"). And depending on some of your barbecue-ing choices, we can probably guess more specifically where you're from in the Southeast:
- Favor a mustard-based sauce? You're probably from South Carolina.
- Does your barbecue involve the whole hog, literally? You're probably from North Carolina.
- If your barbecue involves chicken and a white barbecue sauce made from mayo and vinegar, then you're almost invariably from Northern Alabama.
- If your sauce is tomato-based plus bourbon/wine, vinegar, peppers, and corn, you're probably from Virginia.
Ever wonder why the "bagel-snobs" don't quite relate to the hospitality that the "barbecue-brigade" tends to extend? Find out why Northerners don't quite get Southern hospitality.
Verdict: If you are well-versed in the many varieties of SPAM and can think of multiple gourmet dishes that incorporate it, then you are most likely from Hawaii.
Interested in trying all the SPAM dishes that gourmet cooking has to offer? Here are the things you should know before booking your trip to Hawaii.
Verdict: Anyone can love an In-N-Out Burger, but it takes a California native to know how to order one off the secret menu. Here's how to order off the Starbucks secret menu.
- If you like your meat battered and deep fried, then you're probably from Pierre.
- If your meat of choice is deep fried mutton, and you like it served with garlic salt, soda crackers, and hot sauce, you're probably from Sioux Falls.
- If your chislic has to be deep fried beef with a side of Ranch dressing, then you're probably from Watertown.
- If your chislic has to be deep fried beef with a side of toast and Lawry's Seasoned Salt, you're probably from Redfield.
Want to brush up on your South Dakota history and culture? Check out the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center.
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However, Delaware has claimed this down-home dish as its own. Certainly, you can sample scrapple in Pennsylvania, but in Delaware, you can celebrate scrapple at either the Apple Scrapple Festival in Bridgeville or the annual Scrapplegasm dinner in Wilmington.
Verdict: If you're enthusiastic enough about scrapple to say it's your favorite food, we're going to guess you're from Delaware. We might also guess that you're a sucker for tourist attractions. If so, then you're in luck because we've got the lowdown on the best tourist attractions in every state.
Gooey butter cake
Whatever you may call it, we're talking about a flat and dense cake made with flour, butter, sugar, and eggs that was invented by accident in the 1930s when a baker used the "gooey butter" (intended as a coating for gooey things like stollen and Danish pastries) instead of the regular baking butter. Needless to say, the cake came out "gooey" but quickly won a following.
Verdict: If gooey butter cake is your favorite, then you're probably from St. Louis. If you call it "ooey gooey butter cake," you probably are just a fan of the Food Network. If that's the case, then you might not realize that the Food Network's chefs keep a lot of their best secrets close to the apron. No worries, we've got the scoop on all the things celebrity chefs won't tell you.
Loose meat is so big in Iowa, that you can even order it at the Dairy Queen.
Verdict: If you're saying "loose meat," we're guessing Iowa. Can't get there in time to satisfy your loose meat craving? Try one of these phenomenal burger recipes.
Verdict: If your favorite food is Moon Pies, you could really be from anywhere because really, they're that good. However, you're probably from the South, and more than likely, you're from Tennessee and love Moon Pies as much as you do because you're from where they're from.
Special bonus for foodies: Here are the foods you've been eating all wrong and a dozen anti-aging foods that might add years to your life.
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