The Midwest has had a pretty rough history. It started out as “The Frontier,” which is pretty damn cool, but it wasn’t enough when California was discovered. Then, it boasted some of the greatest cities and states of the progressive era, was the booming center of suburban life, but then air conditioning became a thing and people said “hello” to the South. Since then, the Midwest has been that quaint part of the United States that everyone glosses over. It’s essentially a bundle of weirdly-shaped states where grandma lives, and everyone is always super nice — even though it seems like the weather is always being super weird.

If asked, a Midwesterner might say that the worst part of being in the Midwest is the stigma about our food. Contrary to popular belief, we have some of the most delicious, flavorful, and comforting food in the country. We’re home to some of America’s favorite food, and its about time we get some recognition for that. Here’s why we can say that the Midwest actually has some pretty bangin’ food choices.

1. We’re the “Breadbasket of America”

the Midwest

Photo by Emily Hu

You don’t get that nickname for nothing, kids. Most of our foods are bread-based and grain-based, and, hello, who doesn’t love bread? We also serve as the nation’s top grain-producing region, including wild rice. We’re living a carb-a-holic’s dream here, and we butter it up every single day.

2. Porkopolis

the Midwest

Photo by Amanda Gajdosik

Need a little meat for that bread of yours? Look no further. Chicago and Kansas City have always been important in the beef industry, and Cincinnati was big in pork in the past — so big that they earned themselves the nickname Porkopolis. Now, Iowa can service all of your pork-related needs, as they’re the center of pork production in the United States.

3. Cheese, cheese, cheese

the Midwest

Photo by Christin Urso

While you’re building your sandwich with the Midwest’s delicious bread and yummy pork, why don’t you add Wisconsin’s cheese, too? If you are a normal, lactose-tolerant American, you probably ate lots of grilled cheese when you were a kid. The best part of the Midwest is that everything has cheese on it or in it. Like, everything. Seriously, its awesome.

4. Hella fast foods

the Midwest

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If the previous foods didn’t tickle your fancy, these will. The Midwest is home to a disturbingly large number of fast food restaurants. McDonalds, Hardee’s, Culver’s, Steak ‘n Shake, White Castle, and Wendy’s all originated in the Midwest. Not in the mood for a burger? Try our pizza, because we gave you Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and Papa John’s, too.

5. Chef Boyardee

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If you still aren’t convinced, Chef Boyardee can take even the most stubborn child and win them over. Who doesn’t remember their mom popping open a can of Spaghetti O’s for them to eat when they wouldn’t shut up and mommy just wanted some relaxation time? The good chef is from Ohio, which is known as the heartland of America. Can it get more Midwestern than that?

6. We are the melting pot

the Midwest

Photo by Ishaan Pathak

We are a melting pot, and we often find that many people in the region are of German, Irish, Scandinavian, or Greek descent. We usually discover this when discussing our immense love for sausage and, of course, the beloved potato, because let me tell you, Midwesterners love sausage and potatoes.

We, the Midwest, welcome any and everyone. We are inclusive, friendly, and have some great comfort food staples. And, best of all, we brought you the Wendy’s 4 for $4.

the Midwest

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