Which Famous Food Was Invented in Your State?
From sea to shining sea, American states have invented a huge variety of foods. From fast foods enjoyed around the world to legendary local cuisine, we've rounded up the most famous food from every state.
Alabama — White barbecue sauce
Barbecue culture is rich in the South, and debates about the exact origins of those savory, saucy meats can stretch into the night. But one thing's for certain, Alabaman Robert "Big Bob" Gibson created the iconic white barbecue sauce featuring mayonnaise and apple cider vinegar. First brewed in 1925, it's still gracing Alabama dinner tables today. Find out what Alabama and every other state is best—and worst—at.
Alaska — Muktuk
Whale may not be the first thing we think of when we think of sushi, but for the native Inuits of Alaska, muktuk—bite-sized cubes of whale skin and blubber, often served raw—has been an integral part of the diet for centuries. For beginners, muktuk is also delicious deep-fried.
Arizona — Chimichanga
The chimichanga, that burrito transformed to crispy perfection after a trip to the deep fryer, is famous for its Tucson origins. Most origin stories attribute its creation to Monica Flin, whose niece accidentally bumped a bean burrito out of her hands and into a pot of cooking oil. The fallout from that innocent encounter turned out to be a gift to us all. That's right, chimichangas might be served at Mexican restaurants all across America, but it's one of the surprising foods that are actually American creations.
Arkansas — Skippy peanut butter
It's no wonder that all of the Skippy peanut butter in the United States has come from Little Rock, Arkansas for decades. The Natural State's proximity to peanut production—a staple of the American South—make it the ideal location for making this iconic brand.
California — French dip sandwich
Two Los Angeles restaurants claim to have invented this favorite beef sandwich served with a bowl of au jus. Interestingly, they claim to have first served a sandwich with au jus with different motives: one to mask stale bread, and the other to help a customer with sensitive teeth. Regardless, we're happy to eat a French dip like this today.
Colorado — Root beer float
This delicious treat dates all the way back to 1893 in Cripple Creek, when a bartender gazing upon the moonlit snow-covered Rocky Mountains saw visions of vanilla ice cream scoops floating on root beer. We're not sure what he was drinking that night, but the result of his epiphany is a true American classic.
Connecticut — Subway sandwiches
The country's most ubiquitous fast-food chain has its origins in the Nutmeg State. The very first Subway opened in Bridgeport in 1965 when a 17-year-old teamed up with a family friend to offer the first footlong, for only 49 cents. Find out how that first Subway went on to become the world's biggest restaurant chain.
Delaware — Scrapple
Similar to Spam, scrapple is made with pork and served in slices. Its origins trace back to Delaware's early German settlers. The meat product may be due for a popularity surge, given its "nose to tail" ethos.
Florida — The Cuban sandwich
Florida residents know that the Cuban isn't strictly Cuban. In fact, it was invented in Tampa for the city's early Cuban immigrant workers in the cigar industry. Today, you can make this delightful varietal of the ham, cheese and pickle sandwich in a slow cooker. Here are some other unexpected things you can make in a slow cooker.
Georgia — Pimiento cheese
Pimiento cheese? Yes, please! This versatile cheese spread owes its popularity to a Macon, Georgia lawyer who used his influence to strike a deal with the Spanish consulate to obtain authentic pimiento pepper seeds from Spain for Georgia's farmers to grow. By the early 20th century, 90 percent of the pimiento peppers in the United States came from Georgia.