Ever wonder what goes on in your state’s capital? If you envision high-powered politicians fighting to uphold our great nation’s ideals all while wearing immaculately tailored pantsuits à la West Wing, you might be right. But there is more to these politicians’ jobs than highfalutin political rhetoric. Official state foods don’t just choose themselves, you know. Check out this list of the most ridiculous official state foods to see if your state made the cut.
Official State Snack Food: Jell-O
I have a feeling this vote didn’t need to be unanimous. Even if the texture isn’t for you, we have to award some brownie points for Jell-O’s fearlessness when it comes to trying new things. Some of the most cringeworthy flavors in the Jell-O graveyard include celery, bubble gum, maple syrup, seasoned tomato and italian salad. Rock on with your jiggly self, Utah.
Official State Meal: Barbecue pork, chicken fried stake, fried okra, squash, cornbread, biscuits, sausage and gravy, black-eyed peas, grits, corn, strawberries AND pecan pie.
Could Oklahoma have picked just one food instead of twelve? Probably. Could Thomas Jefferson have simply gone to the pub to play a round or two of darts with his buddy George Washington instead of writing the Declaration of Independence? I suppose so. Is the world a better place because these people with little more than a dream (or a massive appetite) saw a better life and reached for it? Most definitely, yes. I rest my case.
Official State Doughnut: Beignet
Beignets were declared the official state doughnut of Louisiana in 1986, but let’s be honest, these squares of deep-fried goodness never faced any true competition for this extremely specific yet coveted title. This timeless classic is so embedded in New Orleans culture that it didn’t even bat an eye when the cronut craze swept through America. If you ever find yourself in the Big Easy craving the real thing, head to Café du Monde. They have been serving beignets since 1862, way before the state of Louisiana made it cool.
4. Louisiana, again
Official State Meat Pie: Natchitoches
First things first, it’s pronounced NACK-uh-tush. Before you begin to question everything you’ve ever known about the English language, you should know that historians believe this word was borrowed from an indigenous language. Phew. The Natchitoches Meat Pie is a pastry filled with spiced ground meat that has been satisfying hunger since the 1700’s. Tastes like history. Just don’t forget to pack your Tums when you make an appearance at the 13th Annual Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival in September 2015.
Official State Pie: Sugar Cream Pie
If you’re wondering what ingredients make up this dessert, just looking at the title will give you about half of them. Its title alone might also put you on the fast track to a quadruple bypass, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
6. Rhode Island
Official State Drink: Coffee Milk
Despite its name, coffee milk actually bears more resemblance to chocolate milk than it does to coffee. Let that marinate for a second. Okay, and we’re back: Rhode Island’s state drink is made by combining milk with coffee syrup, a sweet syrup that contains coffee extract. It’s not for everyone, but if the thought of drinking something not unlike melted coffee ice cream appeals to you (no judgement), then a trip to our great nation’s tiniest state should be in your future.
Official State Herb: Sweet Goldenrod
If you haven’t already, please take a moment to appreciate the suggestive nature of this herb’s name. As far as its purpose, sweet goldenrod is mainly used in herbal teas and in the production of honey. Hats off to whomever was responsible for naming this as the official herb of Delaware, thus proving that there is room for humor in politics. Unless it was unintentional, which only makes it funnier.
And the worst state food goes to…
8. New York
Official State Snack: Yogurt
Really? C’mon, New York. You’re better than that.