United States of Food: Official State Foods
The United States of America loves to celebrate its heritage. From the Fourth of July to Thanksgiving, we honor those who have come before us. Not surprisingly, our favorite way to celebrate anything is with food, and the 50 states are no different. So we started to wonder what foods those 50 states have honored with official state titles.
The United States of America has a rich culinary history that stretches back to our colonial days. While our founding fathers were creating our great nation, they were also chowing down on some of their favorite foods. [related] The United States has also been home to pretty awesome food inventions, like the corndog. We are a country with a deep respect for food, and we love to eat. Many have states have honored representative foods by making them official state symbols.
To become a state symbol, a food must go through a rigorous lawmaking process. A lot of the time it’s a concentrated effort from a states’ population that urges lawmakers to put a bill into action. Citizens, organizations, and even school children do some research before requesting a bill. After that, the bill follows the regular legislative process. And if the bill is passed, then the food becomes an official state symbol.
Not all states have official state foods, and some have only state animals or fish — which in some cases at least make good eating. For those states without official foods, we suggested some iconic local items that would be good candidates. In fact, being ultra helpful, we also suggested some additions to existing state lists. It may surprise you to know that the most popular food, which featured on 16 states’ lists of symbols, was milk. Read on to find out what other foods gained honors from their states.
Dear people of Alabama, get ready to make some serious pies. 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 your state by creating delicious pies with the official state foods. Turkey is also the state game bird of Alabama and the state fish is the largemouth bass.
When we think of Alaska we think of salmon. We also think of ice and snow dogs, but that’s beside the point. The state harvests billions of pounds of fish per year and salmon is one of their highest harvests. In honor of that, Alaska declared the king salmon its official state fish.
This article was originally published June 30, 2014.