In America, it is a custom of the states to claim various objects, activities, and foods to represent them. For instance, the state animal of California, showcased on the state flag, is the grizzly bear, while the state flower of Kansas is the sunflower.
To become a state emblem, the item in question must have significant ties to the state through heritage, agriculture, or environment. It is a real government process: A bill must be passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor for something to be officially inducted.
Only a handful of states have passed legislation electing an emblematic sweet, however. But that doesn’t mean each state is lacking in noteworthy pies, cakes, and other treats! For those states without official desserts, we have taken the liberty of suggesting desserts or iconic local confections that we think represent them in the sweetest way possible.
These types of lists have, of course, been published in the past. Slate.com, in particular, produced a list in 2014 accompanied by an awesome interactive visual. However, we seriously disagree with many of their assignments. First of all, the author proclaimed that she had two very specific rules: 1. No brand names. 2. No all-American desserts like “apple pie or chocolate chip cookies” could be assigned to a state because those belong to everybody. To this, we counter: In 1999 Vermont declared apple pie as their state dessert, and Utah’s state snack is Jell-O, which is a brand name for flavored gelatin. The Denver Post even wrote a response to Slate railing against the site’s assignment of pot candy as the official sweet of Colorado, saying their “choice for Colorado could use a little sweetening” and made suggestions for improvements.
Without further ado, here it is! Check out The Daily Meal’s sweet list of the most iconic desserts from every state.
Rachael Pack contributed to this story.