The One Food You Have to Try in Every State
From pizza to meat pies and lots of regional, rare, and heritage-influenced bites in between, we scoured the United States for the authentic foods that locals love, expert foodies want to get their hands on, and original meals that you won’t be able to get anywhere else.
Alabama: Tomato pie
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Tomato dishes roll deep in Alabama, but there is one that stands out from the rest—tomato pie. Fresh tomatoes, bacon, and basil make up the heart of the dish and then it’s covered in sauce. The dish has roots back to the 19th century when it started as a sweet dish that used buttered and sugared green tomatoes. Love all things America? Don’t miss these 100 unique products made in the U.S. of A.
Alaska: Reindeer dog
While Alaska is definitely known for salmon, it’s the Reindeer dogs you need to try in the northernmost state. Made from Alaskan caribou (no, you’re not really eating Rudolph!), these dogs are smoked and seasoned with coriander, then split, grilled, and served on a steamed bun. Around for years, the craze really picked up in 1999 when the food was featured in Rick Sebak’s 1999 Hot Dog Program.
Arizona: Cheese crisps
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Being close to the Mexican border, there are a lot of influences on Arizona’s cuisine. One thing that is pretty unique to the area—cheese crisps. Different from a quesadilla, cheese crisps are baked on a pan (like a pizza pan) and served open face. Cheese crisps are rarely found outside the state, but rumor has it you might spot some in San Diego.
Arkansas: Chocolate gravy
While Arkansas may be known for its fried catfish, the food that keeps all the locals talking is the state’s chocolate gravy. Chocolate gravy dates back to the earliest part of the 20th century as the use of cocoa powder spread. It’s usually served over country-style biscuits as part of an artery-clogging breakfast.
Made famous in San Francisco, cioppino is a dish that was traditionally served to fishermen at the end of the day. While it traditionally consisted of a combination of leftovers from the day’s catch, tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, and wine, it’s now served in restaurants using different styles of seafood.
Colorado: Rocky Mountain oysters
You can’t go to Colorado and not try the Rocky Mountain oysters, even if they are a bit, um, weird. Yes, they really are cattle testicles. But, they are usually fried so that makes it all better. The dish is lovingly referred to as “cowboy fare” and said to have been created by cattle ranchers. These are the 10 restaurants around the world that serve up the weirdest dining experiences.
Connecticut: Clam pie
A pizza and seafood lover’s dream, the clam pie is a must-have when you are visiting Connecticut. The pie, which originated in the city of New Haven, is a pizza crust is covered with clams, grated parmesan, olive oil, garlic, and oregano. We will take two, please, and we mean pies, not slices. Here are 11 more unexpected pizza toppings that are actually amazingly delicious.
A regional dish that started in Pennsylvania, scrapple has become so popular in Delaware that it is now known as one of the most iconic dishes to eat. Dating back to the Colonial times, scrapple is one of those pork dishes that tastes delicious—as long as you don’t know what’s in it. The state hosts an Apple-Scrapple Festival that attracts thousands of visitors every year and Delaware-based Dogfish Brewery, debuted a scrapple-flavored beer. Find out the must-try craft beer in each of the 50 states.
Florida: Key lime pie
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Cuban sandwiches, conch fritters, and fresh-squeezed OJ dominate menus in and around Florida, although it seems as if nothing can compare to the state’s signature dessert, key lime pie. The pie is named after the state’s key limes, which are a signature in the Florida Keys, however, there seems to be an issue with the recipe. Not one single recipe can be pinpointed as the original, although each variation claims authenticity. Find out the surprising birthplace of 20 of your favorite foods and drinks.
Georgia: Peach cobbler
Georgia is known for its peaches and in this state, they don’t mess around with their peach cobbler. A staple on restaurant menus around Georgia, the world’s largest peach cobbler was served up at the 2016 Georgia Peach Festival with an impressive 75 gallons of peaches, 32 gallons of milk, 150 pounds of sugar and flour, and 60 pounds of butter, per WGXA.