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Regional foods in the USA


Goatjunky
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I realize this is a broad question, but i am looking for suggestions for foods that you associate with certain states. My son is doing a report on the 50 states and has decided to pick a certain foodstuff that you would associate. Such as key lime pie, loosemeat, buffalo wings etc. It made me curious and i have begun helping him. I have gotten very interested in it, but am stumped by a few. He wants dishes, not just ingredients that are local. He can do the research for why the dish became popular in the region. But wants to go a little past the expected. What would you consider an alaskan specialty? North Dakota? Iowa? Nevada....

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Alaska :  king crab ?

 

North Dakota:  ???

 

Iowa: something w corn ?

 

Nevada :  cheap buffets at the casinos.

 

PS:  does this help:

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._state_foods

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuisine_of_North_Dakota

 

http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/50-state-foods.html

 

 

N.B.  I was right about Nevada.  didnt even have to look it up :   :raz: 

 

Kudos ( 1 ) my way

 

:biggrin: 

Edited by rotuts (log)
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Iowa is the home of Eskimo Pies and the Red Delicious apple.

Also known for Maid Rite sandwiches, tenderloins as big as your head and get ready,  corn cob jelly.

It is also home to  some of the best ice cream in the world and produces huge amounts of it.  

 

I used to think it was the home of grey food coloring because so many dishes were just blah.  Things have started to improve in recent years.  Once in a while I even see a small bottle of Tabasco sauce on the table at a local eatery.  

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As for my region, I have no idea about VA, but for MD, definitely steamed blue crabs with tons of Old Bay, or indeed crabcakes. For DC, I would put forth the half-smoke, unless you can count Ethiopian food, in which case it's a whole other ballgame.

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Interesting.  I'll try to offer some suggestions for states where I've lived.

 

Alaska - yep, there are king crabs.  But you don't run into them all that often.  Most of the catch seems to head for fancy restaurants in the Lower 48.  What we did eat, all of the time, were salmon and halibut.  The salmon was usually smoked or barbecued.  When it was barbecued, it was often basted with some version of marinade similar to this one, from the Fairbanks Salmon Bake: 

 

1 stick butter, melted
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C soy sauce
1/2 t dill weed
1/8 t cayenne
juice of 1/2 lemon

 

The halibut was often cut into large chunks, battered, and deep-fried.  But I don't recall many parties up there wherein there was not a large broiled halibut and a smoked or broiled salmon presented on big platters garnished with lemon slices and served with small fish forks for you to pick off bits and put them on the accompanying crackers. 

 

And moose and reindeer.  Everybody had pounds of ground moose and reindeer in their freezers.  So, whatever you think of making with ground hamburger, up there you got it made with moose:  moose burgers, meatloaf, etc.

 

The other quintessential Alaska dish is sourdough pancakes.  It seemed like absolutely everybody up there had some sourdough starter bubbling in their kitchens.  They were very proud of these starters, with people often telling you that their starter dated back to the original "Sourdoughs," the nickname for the Alaska goldseekers of the late 1800's.  The sourdough pancakes are often served with the blueberries that grow wild across Alaska.

 

New Mexico:  got to be green chiles.  You can serve your green chiles any way you wish.  Green chile stacked enchiladas are probably the most iconic, but there is also a bowl of green chile, or green chile stew made with pork.  And you'll finish your meal with sopapillas.

 

Nebraska:  I think of steaks. 

 

Kansas:  corn.  Fresh corn just simmered and served with plenty of butter.

 

Texas:  chili (the type referred to fondly as "a bowl of Texas Red"), barbecue brisket, pinto beans, TexMex; for dessert - Pecan Pie, or Kolaches

 

Florida: in addition to the obvious Key Lime Pie, I think of conch - stewed, fried, whatever.

 

Just a few initial thoughts.  I'll keep thinking.
 

Edited by Jaymes (log)
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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Oklahoma's state food (really) is the Chicken Fried Steak.

 

Recipes abound.

 

I grew up in Santa Maria, CA, home of the Santa Maria Style BBQ:  A tri-tip piece of beef cooked over a pit of mesquite, served with pinto beans and cornbread.  This is a popular fundraiser for the Elks Lodge and the FFA.

Edited by annabelle (log)
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RE Alaska - should have added that the Alaskan Native Americans have a few more traditional dishes.  Reindeer/Caribou stew, cod cakes, and Eskimo Ice Cream, "Akutaq"  - a concoction of lard/blubber/seal or whale oil, berries, sugar, and sometimes some sort of meat or fish. http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Akutaq_EskimoIceCream.htm

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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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The Wikipedia article rotuts linked to indicates (correctly) that Minnesota's State Grain, Muffin and Mushroom are Wild Rice, Blueberry Muffin, and Morel, respectively. I think most Minnesotans would add that blueberry pie is a favorite, as are summer sweet corn and tomatoes, and at any season wild rice soup or wild rice hot dish. The big point to keep in mind is this: in Minnesota, you'll never hear the word "casserole". It's a "hot dish". :-)

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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As for my region, I have no idea about VA, but for MD, definitely steamed blue crabs with tons of Old Bay, or indeed crabcakes. For DC, I would put forth the half-smoke, unless you can count Ethiopian food, in which case it's a whole other ballgame.

 I'm a moron. I forgot Virginia ham!

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This book was written by the daughter of Norwegian homesteaders in North Dakota, with descriptions and recipes of foods from her childhood. A lovely family story, also.
http://www.amazon.com/Prairie-Cooks-Glorified-Three-Day-Original/dp/0877457174

 

Alaska--some kind of smoked fish. Or maybe something sourdough, if you want to bring in history and the Alaskan Gold Rush. Plenty of good tales about the "sourdoughs." See History of Sourdough, here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sourdough

 

I grew up in Boston, Ma, home of the baked bean and the cod. Baked beans..meh. Too sweet. Cod was OK. I remember scrod, the amorphous tail end of some kind of white fish. Interesting story there about scrod. You can't catch that fish, but you can serve it on a plate. :wink: My fave, though--Cape Cod clambakes.

 

Dunno about the quintessential Californian food. Have you decided? In & Out Burger?

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Thank you for all the responses! I personally find this fascinating. There are lots of webpages that hit on the subject, but i didnt want him to just rely on those. I think aqutak and corn cob jelly are going to be experiments.

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Kudos

 

I grew up in CA

 

that was some time ago.  now Im in NE and have been here for some time.

 

I thought to mention the Current Sate of Food in CA

 

And I must say it it either the In-and-Out Burger  ( Animal style ) or the Burrito  ( carnitas ) from your your local Cal-Mex place.

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Thank you for all the responses! I personally find this fascinating. There are lots of webpages that hit on the subject, but i didnt want him to just rely on those. I think aqutak and corn cob jelly are going to be experiments.

 

And after conquering aqutak, if he'd like another Alaskan challenge, may I suggest Jellied Moose Nose?  http://bertc.com/subfive/recipes/jelliednose.htm

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Kudos

 

I grew up in CA

 

that was some time ago.  now Im in NE and have been here for some time.

 

I thought to mention the Current Sate of Food in CA

 

And I must say it it either the In-and-Out Burger  ( Animal style ) or the Burrito  ( carnitas ) from your your local Cal-Mex place.

If you're talking about Fast Food, I could agree. In-and-Out Burger was such a lovely surprise when I went to Southern California for college! Nonetheless I'm compelled to mention oranges, lemons, grapefruit, satsumas and other lovely citrus; olives, grapes (and wine!), peaches and nectarines; almonds, pistachios and walnuts; garlic and artichokes and dates. One can make lovely fruit desserts and salads, and chase them with wine. Perhaps the wine chaser wouldn't be appropriate for a school project, but lemonade would. Depending on where exactly in California you're discussing, the fruit salad or green salad might be a good representative choice.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Interesting about California.  I also lived there for several years.  First thing I thought of was tri-tip, as Annabelle suggested.

 

And In-and-Out, certainly my personal favorite fast-food burger.

 

But the produce is amazing.  Love driving past all those gorgeous artichoke fields.  And the strawberries around Watsonville. 

 

Would the garlic in Gilroy count for anything?

 

But I can't think about food in California without considering the wonderful Asian food that's everywhere. 

 

And Cali-Mex.  Like fish tacos.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I shouldn't have omitted tri-tip; it truly is a California invention, as Annabelle noted. I had moved to Minnesota before the tri-tip spread into the Central Valley and my parents discovered the cut. After I tried it, I began asking after it in the butcher shops in my area. I got blank looks until I asked at what's now my favorite butcher store. That butcher looked at me and said, "Are you from California?"

I do think that Gilroy would claim garlic, and there's even a Pismo Clam.

Getting back to the burgers for another moment: I grew up believing that hamburgers ALWAYS include lettuce and tomato, and from there it's personal preference: onions or not, what kind of pickles if any, and so on. Imagine my surprise when, upon arriving in the Midwest, I learned that I had to ask for it. "Oh, you mean you want a California burger!" they all said.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I don't know if the OP has already picked a WV favorite, but I would have to nominate either pinto beans with cornbread, or the fried bologna sandwich.

I'm a lifelong professional chef. If that doesn't explain some of my mental and emotional quirks, maybe you should see a doctor, and have some of yours examined...

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I shouldn't have omitted tri-tip; it truly is a California invention, as Annabelle noted. I had moved to Minnesota before the tri-tip spread into the Central Valley and my parents discovered the cut. After I tried it, I began asking after it in the butcher shops in my area. I got blank looks until I asked at what's now my favorite butcher store. That butcher looked at me and said, "Are you from California?"

I do think that Gilroy would claim garlic, and there's even a Pismo Clam.

Getting back to the burgers for another moment: I grew up believing that hamburgers ALWAYS include lettuce and tomato, and from there it's personal preference: onions or not, what kind of pickles if any, and so on. Imagine my surprise when, upon arriving in the Midwest, I learned that I had to ask for it. "Oh, you mean you want a California burger!" they all said.

 

Right.  I had my earliest burger education in Texas.  Then we moved to Omaha.  Maybe you've heard of that.  It's basically Iowa West.  And we, too, all went through the burger just having meat and bread thing, maybe a slice of onion and a couple of pickles on the side.  We all laughed at the "do it yourself" burger.  We had to ask for the lettuce and tomato and were immediately made to understand that we were obviously furners. 

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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When we moved from California to Pittsburgh, PA and were looking for a home, we stopped to eat lunch and I ordered a Steak Salad.

 

Imagine my surprise when my salad arrived with a handful of French fries on top!  I learned to ask if fries were in any way included in any order.

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