One of the things that makes American cuisine so diverse is that each region and state has its own flavors. State’s honor their special culinary contributions by designating state dishes, produce, beverages and more. Here’s what each state has deemed its most important foods by making them official symbols of the state.
Alabama has quite a few official state emblems, including plenty of local foods. Blackberries are the official state berry, pecans are the official state nut, and peaches are the state’s official tree fruit. That means that you can celebrate this state by creating delicious pies with these ingredients. Turkey is also the state game bird of Alabama, and the state fish is the largemouth bass.
Alaska is famous for its wildlife, and though it doesn’t have any official state dishes, it does have an official state fish: the giant king salmon. The state commercially harvests more than 100 million salmon a year and it’s also one of the top vacation destinations for sport fishermen.
Arizona’s only official state food is its state fish, the Apache trout. However, the state does have some unofficial state foods, in particular the chimichanga. Chimichangas, otherwise known as deep-fried burritos, are a state favorite that reflect that state’s Mexican-American culture.
As a state once dominated by the agricultural industry, Arkansas officially celebrates many of its foods. The official state fruit and vegetable is the south Arkansas vine ripe pink tomato, the official state grape is the Cynthiana grape, the official state nut is the pecan, the official state beverage is milk and the official state grain is rice. Arkansas is the top rice-producing state in the U.S.
California produces most of America’s fruits and vegetables, so it’s no wonder the state takes pride in its crops. In 2013, an interim governor declared that avocados are the official state fruit, almonds are the state nut, artichokes are the state vegetable, and rice is the state grain. But those symbols, alas, only lasted until the end of the year. However, California still has an official state fish, the golden trout, as well as four official state nuts: almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans. California grows 80% of the almonds eaten in the world.
Colorado has an official state cactus and state pet, but no state foods. Though if it did declare one, it might choose steak. Colorado is among the top 10 cattle-producing states in the Union. The state is also home to many of the best steakhouses in America.
While Connecticut doesn’t have any official fruits or vegetables, the state does recognize the importance of seafood to its history and culture. The official state shellfish is the eastern oyster and the official state fish is shad, perfect for big community shad bakes.
Delaware is one of many states that claims milk as its official state drink. A cool glass of milk would go well with peach pie, which is the official state dessert. Or you could make your own strawberry milk with Delaware’s state fruit, the strawberry. Both peaches and strawberries were important crops in Delaware’s agricultural history.
Key lime pie was invented in Florida and was declared the official state pie in 2006. Florida even has a festival for the pie. The Sunshine State is also famous for its oranges, so orange juice is the official state beverage and oranges are the official state fruit. The state produces more than 70% of the U.S. supply of citrus. Florida also has a state fish: the largemouth bass.
Georgia is nicknamed the Peach State, so it should come as no surprise that the peach is the official state fruit. Other state foods for Georgia include the Vidalia onion as the state vegetable, grits as the state prepared food and peanuts as the state crop. Georgia produces almost 50% of all the peanuts grown in the U.S. The bobwhite quail is the state’s official game bird, and Georgia shares its state fish, the largemouth bass, with Florida.
Hawaii has no official state foods, but it does have an edible state plant: the Kalo plant, also known as taro, which was important to the indigenous people of Hawaii. If Hawaii were to name an official food, the obvious choice would be Spam, which is so beloved there that it’s known as “Hawaiian steak.” Pineapple would also make the perfect state fruit as Hawaii was once the pineapple capital of the world.
Idaho is synonymous with potatoes. It produces the most potatoes in the country, thus its official state crop is the potato. The Idaho state fruit is the huckleberry, and cutthroat trout is the official state fish.
Illinois may be famous for Chicago-style hot dogs, deep-dish pizza and Italian sandwiches, but none of those dishes made the official cut. Since 2003, popcorn has been the official state snack of Illinois, and visitors to the Windy City often stock up on “Chicago mix” popcorn, which is half cheese and half caramel popcorn mixed together. The bluegill is also the official state fish, the GoldRush apple is the state fruit, the state vegetable is sweet corn and the state pie is pumpkin pie.
Indiana doesn’t have any official state foods, but it does still have some famous state dishes. The Hoosier sandwich is filled with a breaded pork tenderloin, while Hoosier sugar cream pie is the state’s most iconic dessert.
If you’ve ever driven through Iowa, you’ve probably noticed the state’s most famous product: corn. The state of Iowa has no official state foods, but it is No. 1 in corn production in the United States.
Kansas has a variety of state symbols but no official foods. It does, however, recognize two state beverages. In 2019, Kansas adopted an official white wine grape, vignoles, and an official red wine grape, chambourcin. While other states might be more famous for their wine, and other states consume and produce more alcohol, Kansas has about 50 wineries and vineyards.
Kentucky might be known for bourbon and mint juleps, but its official beverage is milk and its official soft drink is Ale-8-One — a popular regional soda that should probably go national. Its official fruit is the blackberry.
Louisiana is famous for its culinary scene as well as its local Cajun and Creole cooking styles. Beignets are the official state donut and a regional dessert you should try, the Natchitoches Meat Pie is the state’s official meat pie, crawfish is Louisiana’s official state crustacean, and gumbo is the official state cuisine. Chefs will also cook up the state’s official reptile, the alligator. Milk is the state drink, strawberry is the state fruit, sweet potato is the state vegetable and the Creole tomato is the state vegetable plant.
Many people associate lobster with Maine, and the animal is indeed the official state crustacean. Other official food symbols are wild Maine blueberries, blueberry pie, the Maine-invented soda Moxie and whoopie pies.
Cakes are the most celebrated food form in the state of Maryland. The Smith Island Cake, an eight- to 10-layer yellow cake with chocolate frosting, is the official state dessert and the blue crab, the basis for fabulous local crab cakes, is the state crustacean. Milk is also the state’s official drink.
Massachusetts is one of the states with the most official state foods. It shares its official state game bird, the turkey, with Alabama, and its state fish is the cod. Its official dessert is the Boston cream pie and its state donut is the Boston creme donut. Cranberries are the official state fruit, cranberry juice is the state beverage, the chocolate chip cookie is the state cookie, the corn muffin is the state muffin, and the navy bean is the official bean.
Michigan has no official produce or prepared foods, but it does have some official game animals. The Brook trout is the state fish, and the white-tailed deer is the state game mammal. Michigan is home to more than 1.5 million deer and more than 600,000 licensed deer hunters who use the meat to make venison steaks, burgers, jerky and more.
Minnesota has a variety of official state foods. The Honeycrisp apple is its official state food, and northern wild rice is the official state crop. Other food symbols include the blueberry muffin as the official state muffin, morel mushrooms as the official state mushroom, and milk as the official state drink. The walleye is also the official state fish.
Mississippi’s famous emblems include magnolias and mockingbirds. Milk is the state drink, and largemouth bass are the official state fish. The state also recognizes honeybees as the state insect. The state produces more than 2 million pounds of honey each year.
Many Americans scream for ice cream, but Missouri loves it so much that it declared it as its official state dessert. Missouri and ice cream cones go way back — they made their debut at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. The norton is the state grape of Missouri, and the eastern black walnut is the state tree nut. The bobwhite quail is the state game bird, and the catfish is the official state fish.
Montana does not have an official state food, but huckleberries grow in abundance in the state and are used in many local treats from jams to pies. The official state fish is the blackspotted cutthroat trout.
Nebraska has declared the catfish its official state fish, but it should consider another special state food. Runzas are pockets of dough with savory fillings that are a Nebraska classic. Runza is also the name of a local fast food chain with more than 80 locations across the state.
Nevada doesn’t have any official state foods yet, but when most visitors think of Nevada, they think of Las Vegas and its extravagant buffets. They aren’t exactly a food, but they’d make a great official state meal. The lahontan cutthroat trout is the state’s official fish, though.
Elementary school students chose New Hampshire’s state vegetable, the white potato, and the state’s official fruit is the pumpkin. The official beverage of New Hampshire is apple cider. The state’s saltwater fish is the striped bass, its freshwater fish is the brook trout and the white-tailed deer is the state animal.
New Jersey has two official state foods. The first is the blueberry, which was given the honor in 2004. The second is the Jersey tomato, which is the state vegetable. The state fish is the brook trout.
The state of New Mexico honors its Hispanic cuisine by recognizing its local key ingredients. Chiles and pinto beans are the state vegetables. And for dessert, the state cookie is the biscochito, a small anise-flavored treat.
New York City is nicknamed the Big Apple, but it’s the whole state that is dedicated to the fruit. The apple is the official state fruit and the apple muffin is the state muffin. Milk is the state drink, yogurt is the state snack.
North Carolina likes to get specific when it comes to its state foods. It has a state red berry, the strawberry, and a state blue berry, the blueberry. The Scuppernong grape is also North Carolina’s state fruit, the sweet potato is its state vegetable, and milk is its state drink.
Like many other states, North Dakota’s official state beverage is milk. But the state has a different choice for state fruit: the chokecherry. It has a pretty intimidating name, but its tart flavor can shine in jam, jellies and desserts like chokecherry pie.
Why just have state foods when you can have a whole multi-course state meal? Oklahoma’s official state meal is more like a 12-course feast. It consists of fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecued pork, sausage with biscuits and gravy, grits, corn, chicken fried steak, black-eyed peas, strawberries and pecan pie. This meal incorporates other state foods, like strawberries, the state fruit. Milk is also the official state drink and the watermelon is listed as the official state vegetable. According to legislators, the watermelon is in the same family as the cucumber so it is a vegetable.
The state nut of Oregon is the hazelnut. Oregon produces 99% of the country’s hazelnuts. Oregon has two other state foods: the pear is the state fruit and the Pacific golden chanterelle is the state mushroom. Milk is the official state beverage.
Pennsylvania doesn’t have any official state foods, besides the state beverage milk, but it does claim to be the birthplace of bubblegum and banana splits. Another famous Pennsylvania food creation is the cheesesteak, which was invented in Philadelphia.
The smallest state keeps its list of official state foods small too. The state fruit is the greening apple and the state beverage is coffee milk. In 2014, the state added another entry by naming calamari as the official state appetizer.
South Carolina is known for its rich history and Southern hospitality. In fact, residents take their manners so seriously that they’ve even named an official state hospitality drink: tea. On top of enjoying some sweet tea, any visitors to the Palmetto State should also enjoy some peaches, the state fruit; some milk, the state drink; some boiled peanuts, the state snack; or a big helping of collard greens, the state vegetable. Barbecue is also the state picnic cuisine.
South Dakota honors its heritage with two dishes. Kuchen, which means "cake" in German, is a custard-filled pastry that’s its official state dessert, while fry bread, a traditional Native American dish, is the official state bread. Milk is also the state drink, a fact that South Dakota shares with many other states.
Tennessee decided to keep things simple with their list of official state foods, and it might not be what you expect. The state might be famous for its Tennessee whiskey and Nashville hot fried chicken, but the tomato is the state fruit and milk is the state drink.
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including its list of official state foods. The state honored its Tex-Mex cuisine by naming the jalapeño as the state pepper, the chiltepin as the state native pepper, and tortilla chips and salsa as the state snack. Sopapilla, a fried dessert with Hispanic roots, also shares a spot as the state pastry along with strudel, while peach cobbler is the official cobbler and pecan pie is the official pie. Chili is also the state meal, pumpkin is the state squash, red grapefruit is the state fruit, the native pecan is the state health nut, and the sweet onion is the state vegetable.
The people of Utah are major fans of jiggly, brightly colored desserts. Utahns consume the most Jell-O per capita in the country and named the retro food as the state snack. Sugar beets and Spanish sweet onions are the state vegetables, while the state fruit is the cherry.
Vermont is about as American as apple pie, and as it turns out, apple pie is the official state pie. And you can’t make apple pie without apples, which we guess is why Vermont also declared the apple as their official state fruit. Milk is once again the official state drink. Vermont is famous for its maple production, and maple is the official state flavor.
Virginia’s state beverage might technically be milk, but Old Dominion also celebrates its alcohol as well. Its official state spirit is George Washington's traditional rye whiskey produced in Mount Vernon, Virginia.
The District of Columbia does have its own official symbols, including the cherry as its official fruit.
While Washington might be famous for its coffee culture, it’s the state’s produce that gets the official glory. The apple is the state fruit and the Walla Walla sweet onion is the state vegetable. The state fish is also the steelhead trout and Ostrea lurida is the state oyster.
Golden Delicious apples were discovered in West Virginia in 1905, and they became the state fruit in 1995. But West Virginia’s most iconic food, the pepperoni roll, deserves some official recognition as well. It’s a standard in convenience stores throughout the state.
Wisconsin is “America’s Dairyland,” and it honors that distinction by featuring milk as its state beverage, dairy cows as its state domesticated animal, cheese as the state dairy product and corn, a main ingredient in livestock feed, as its state grain. The state fruit is the cranberry, and the state dessert is the kringle.
Wyoming doesn’t have any official state foods, though the bison is the state mammal. Some of its unofficial state foods include Rocky Mountain oysters and cowboy cookouts. If you’re hankering for a quality cut of meat at an affordable price, check out one of America's best inexpensive steakhouses.
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