Each state is known for different delicacies, and there’s always certain dishes you fantasize about each time you make the journey back from college to your home state. You could debate for hours about exactly why your neck of the woods is the only acceptable place to order this or that, but how much do you know about other states and their crazy food facts?
1. Alabama is home to a Pecan festival every fall.
2. Alaska‘s blueberries have proven to be more nutritious than regular ones.
3. Arizona‘s second most popular cuisine is Greek, beat only by Mexican food.
4. Arkansas native Bernell “Fatman” Austin invented fried pickles, and keeps his original recipe top secret.
5. California is surprisingly the nation’s largest dairy producer. (We would’ve guessed Wisconsin.)
6. Colorado has more microbreweries per capita than any other state.
7. Connecticut debuted the lollipop in 1908, named after a race horse at the time, Lolly Pop.
8. Delaware‘s Fisher’s popcorn is such a hit that people in Indonesia and Vietnam have paid to have it sent over.
9. Florida is the sacred ground of America’s first avocado tree, imported there in 1833.
10. Georgia boasts the world headquarters for Coca-Cola… and all their 3,500 different beverages.
11. Hawaii is the only state in America to grow coffee beans. #Blessed.
12. Idaho is not only the top producer for potatoes (duh), but also lentils.
13. Illinois is home to the world’s largest bottle of ketchup. It even has it’s own festival in the summer.
14. Indiana produces more than 20% of the United States’ popcorn supply.
15. Iowa‘s city Le Mars holds the title of “ice cream capital of the world”.
16. Kansas once outlawed serving ice cream on cherry pie.
17. Kentucky …fried chicken. The first KFC, owned and operated by Colonel Sanders, is located in Corbin.
18. Louisiana’s Breaux Bridge is known as the “crawfish capital of the world”.
19. Maine‘s official soft drink is Moxie, though it’s produced in New Hampshire.
20. Maryland’s famous crabs are no secret, but did you know their state drink is milk?
21. Massachusetts’ town of Newton inspired the name for Fig Newtons. (Sorry, Sir Isaac.)
22. Michigan‘s most popular cuisine is Middle Eastern – they like it 184% more than the rest of the U.S.
23. Minnesota is home to the hotdish (pronouced hoddish) which is a casserole topped with tater tots.
24. Mississippi created the first root beer in Biloxi in 1898.
25. Missouri is the home of the world’s first ice cream cone.
26. Montana‘s residents are adventurous eaters, enjoying both bison and rocky mountain oysters.
27. Nebraska license plates read “The Beef State” from 1956 to 1965.
28. Nevada is home to many quirky themed restaurants and buffets, including the ‘Heart Attack Grill.’
29. New Hampshire is heaven for fresh seafood. Can’t finish it all? Good thing they invented tupperware in 1938.
30. New Jersey has its own Mason-Dixon line when it comes to this breakfast mystery: taylor ham or pork roll?
31. New Mexico holds the record for largest enchilada.
32. New York has more Kosher eaters than any other state.
33. North Carolina is known for vinegar based BBQ sauces, but also for producing the most sweet potatoes.
34. North Dakota‘s signature food item (according to Playboy and Reddit) is Knoepfla Soup. Before you open Google, it’s a German cream-based dumpling soup.
35. Ohio‘s Cincinnati was known as “Porkopolis” in the 1800s because of the pork industry there.
36. Oklahoma has an entire state meal: fried okra, squash, cornbread, BBQ pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, chicken fried steak, black-eyed peas, grits, corn, strawberries, and pecan pie. Missing from that list is their state vegetable, the watermelon. You read that right.
37. Oregon has over 700 food carts around the city of Portland.
38. Pennsylvania is home to many foods, including Herr’s snacks. You can even tour the plant & score freebies.
39. Rhode Island‘s White Horse Tavern, built in 1673, is the oldest operating tavern in the U.S.
40. South Carolina has a festival every year in Salley called Chitlin Strut, where people consume large amounts of chitterlings (‘chitlins’). This delicacy is also known as boiled hog intestines.
41. South Dakota is famous for chislic: cubed red meat dipped in a garlic salt and served with saltines.
42. Tennessee‘s Knoxville first created Mountain Dew in the ’30s as a drink to mix with whiskey.
43. Texas boasts a concoction called ‘Frito Pie’, made by mixing chili, onions, and cheese into a bag of Fritos.
44. Utah is known for the Mormon dish Funeral Potatoes. (Note: can be enjoyed for any occasion.)
45. Vermont has laws regulating what syrup can officially be called ‘maple.’ Just ask McDonalds.
46. Virginia can be thanked for growing the first peanuts in the United States.
47. Washington is home to the world’s first Starbucks. Basic bitches everywhere, rejoice.
48. West Virginia consumes more hot dogs than any other state.
49. Wisconsin is synonymous with cheese. But it’s lesser known that it produces over 600 types and all cheesemakers must receive a certification proving they took classes and served as an apprentice.
50. Wyoming was the last state to raise the legal drinking age in 1988.
51. Washington D.C. eats more Belgian food than any other place in the nation.