Iconic American Foods

I’m always fascinated by topics like this one – what are the iconic foods of each state? Some of them were obvious to me, either because I had been there or because the reputation of the food is just so strong.

I really thought that Fry Sauce would be the iconic food for Utah, but I should have known that our reputation for Jell-O consumption would prevail. And for the record, not everyone from Utah eats Jello. We never eat it in my house. It’s more like something that shows up at funeral dinners. I don’t like a lot of Jello dishes, but I do like the pretzel salad. Here’s a good recipe if you want to try it for yourself.

I've only eaten a few of these iconic foods while visiting these states. Looks like I have some catching up to do! Here's what I've had:

  • Cobb Salad in California. It was at a hotel though so I don't feel like it was anything super special.
  • Finger Steaks in Idaho at the Red Steer Drive In. My parents grew up in Idaho and they would often stop at the Red Steer when we visited my grandparents. These were kind of tasty, but I bet they are even better in a nicer restaurant.
  • Hotel buffet in Nevada. Not really anything too exciting as I'm not all that into buffets. The article also mentions Basque food in Nevada and I think it's cool that I have tried that. When my brother Mike got married, they held their wedding rehearsal dinner at a Basque restaurant.
  • Hatch Green Chiles in New Mexico. I would have been shocked if Green Chiles were not listed for New Mexico. That’s a no brainer! I've been to New Mexico many times (my parents live there) and Hatch Green Chiles are a big deal! I love to see (and smell) them roasting in grocery store parking lots. 
  • Marionberry pie (in ice cream) in Oregon. Yum, yum, yum!
  • Pretzel Jello Salad in Utah - probably my favorite Jello salad, but I'm not a huge fan of Jello.

There are some foods on the list that I don't really need to try. Rocky Mountain Oysters? No thanks! Also, since I don't care for fish or seafood, I will be skipping a lot of those "must eat" dishes. There are a few that are on my bucket list though. I'd love to eat these iconic foods in their home state:

  • Alabama fried apple pies
  • Arizona Chimichangas
  • Georgia Peach Pie
  • Illinois Deep Dish Pizza
  • Indiana Sugar Cream Pie
  • Iowa Loose Meat Sandwiches (my daughter will beat me to this one!)
  • Michigan Cherry Pie
  • Pennsylvania Philly Cheese Steak

I can think of a lot of ideas for using this list. Wouldn’t it be fun to eat each food in conjunction with a study of each state? How about using it as a travel guide and photographing the iconic foods in their natural habitat? I think this would also be a great list to scrap about. Document which foods you’ve eaten and what you thought of them. I'm going to use my own post as scrapbooking material on future pages!