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A Dish for Every State?

Some dishes are so iconic of America, they bring us together at the table no matter where we live. I’m talking burgers, mac & cheese, pizza, French fries, apple pie, pancakes, etc. (Just ask Jeffrey Saad of United Tastes of America — he’s tried them all.)

But lately we’ve been wondering what dishes are unique to each state. If each state had to pick a dish that really defined it, what would it be?

Our Kitchens did a little research and came up with an interesting list of foods noteworthy to each state. Many are what you’d expect — Deep Dish Pizza in Illinois, BBQ Brisket in Texas, Peach Pie in Georgia, New Jersey’s Italian Subs.

The research found some curious dishes, too — Funeral Potatoes in Utah, Kansas’s Burnt Ends, Sauerkraut Balls in Ohio — not to mention some really odd-sounding ones. Burgoo in Kentucky? Chislic in South Dakota? Spam Musubi in Hawaii? (Apparently it’s a sushi-sized bite of grilled spam atop a block of rice, wrapped in seaweed. We can’t wait to try.)

We hope you enjoy exploring the list below as much as we have, but we also want you to join the conversation and cast a vote…

Vote for your state’s iconic dish using a poll we set up on Facebook. (You must be logged into Facebook and you’ll only be able to see the poll for the state you live in now.) If you don’t have a Facebook account, don’t fret… just leave your comments below.

Enjoy, and check back soon for the tallies. It will most certainly be an interesting conversation!















  • Sugar Cream Pie (Hoosier Cream Pie)
  • Persimmon Pudding
  • Pork Tenderloin Sandwich (or BPTs — Breaded Pork Tenderloins)
  • Beef and Noodles
  • Popcorn
  • Indiana residents, vote here!


  • Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
  • Sour Cream Raisin Pie
  • Loosemeat Sandwich (or Taverns)
  • Iowa Pork Chop with Pan Gravy
  • Cinnamon Roll
  • Iowa residents, vote here!














  • Nevada Cocktail (Rum Martini with Grapefruit)
  • 99-cent Shrimp Cocktail
  • Basque Cake
  • Basque Lamb Stew
  • All-You-Can-Eat
  • Nevada residents, vote here!

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota





Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota


  • Memphis Dry Ribs
  • Tennessee Mountain Stack Cake
  • The Elvis Sandwich (Fried Peanut Butter and Banana)
  • Barbecue Spaghetti
  • Nashville Hot Chicken
  • Tennessee residents, vote here!






  • Steamed Dungeness Crab with Melted Butter
  • Cedar-Planked Salmon
  • Oysters on the Half-shell with Mignonette
  • Geoduck Clam Chowder
  • Apple Candy (Aplets)
  • Washington residents, vote here!

West Virginia




Comments (2746)

  1. JohnE O posted 02/21/2012

    You didn't include goetta for Ohio nor scrapple for Pennsylvania.

  2. Rosemari posted 02/22/2012

    Porque só os residentes, os votos são para os pratos ou cidade????

    • rosemari posted 02/22/2012

      porque só os residentes? os votos são para os pratos ou para as cidade

  3. […] Virginia’s iconic dishes are braised collards, oyster stew and peanut soup. Really? [Cooking Channel] […]

  4. Guest posted 02/22/2012

    What about CT steamed cheeseburgers

  5. Christina posted 02/22/2012

    Fish Tacos filled with lots of California avocado guacamole!

    Come see the Potato Tacos I just made. Another California staple. :)


  6. Peter Walker posted 02/22/2012

    I'm originally from Virginia and they are known for their Honey Smoked Ham. So I would say any dish with Virginia Ham would be the states signature dish. I now live in Maryland and they are known for their Blue Crabs and Smith Island Cakes. So Steamed Crabs with Smith Island Cake would have to be the state dish unless you count Scrapple as a dish. lol

  7. Jennifer posted 02/22/2012

    Umm I dont think its fair that Washington got cooler dishes to choose from than Oregon, when Oregon is also known for salmon and crab. Just saying. :)

    • Frank posted 02/24/2012

      I think Marionberry Pie sounds pretty cool, though!

  8. Rain posted 02/22/2012

    I have to login to facebook to vote? Boo… what about google+ which is where I followed the link from?

  9. […] Post–Key Lime Swirl Cheesecake BarsItalian Food ForeverRecipes – Mardi Gras Dinner50 States, 50 Dishes .recentcomments a{display:inline !important;padding:0 !important;margin:0 […]

  10. Mark posted 02/23/2012

    A vote here for Texas BBQ Brisket since I could only vote for North Carolina.

  11. Sarah posted 02/23/2012

    What about DC? No taxation without dish-representation!

  12. LisaV posted 02/24/2012

    Seriously? That's all you could come up with for MA?

  13. Ianete posted 02/24/2012

    I don't subscribe to Facebook, but I am a resident of Hawaii and would like to vote to ahi poke because it is based on Hawaiian tradition. We should honor the host culture. Aloha and mahalo.

  14. Bee posted 02/24/2012

    Fleischkuekle!!!! From North Dakota, it's my most favorite food in the world. We eat it at ever family gathering and granda ever has a trailer at the state fair selling it.

  15. Bee posted 02/24/2012

    Wow that was a lot of iPad typos!

    Fleischkuekle!!!! From North Dakota, it's my most favorite food in the world. We eat it at every family gathering and grandma even has a trailer at the state fair selling it.

  16. Chelsea posted 02/24/2012

    Hotdish is definitely Minnesota's most iconic of the foods listed — but Wild Rice Soup is absolutely delicious. I'd take Wild Rice Soup over hotdish anyday!

  17. SC-Luv-U posted 02/24/2012

    I love the Perloo, and finally got the recipe down pat! But I see I could find something delicious in any state I visit. This blog is making me hungry!

  18. Gary Weber posted 02/25/2012

    Florida-definetly KEY LIME PIE !!!

  19. […] Cooking Channel is letting us all vote on what dish should represent each state – it’s fun to see the options! Go […]

  20. Janet posted 02/25/2012

    Speaking of Saad ~ I wish somebody would get that idiot to quit sticking his fingers into chef's food! I try to watch his shows, but he makes me so sick I have to change the channel.

  21. Barb posted 02/26/2012

    Where do I get the recipes for all these dishes????

    • Karla posted 02/28/2012

      look them up on That's where I find EVERYTHING!

  22. Doug posted 02/26/2012

    With the exception of the fried shrimp, these dishes are south Florida, Go to northern part or the panhandle where I'm from and you won't see them much. Pecan pie, fried corn bread, cream corn w/stewed tomatoes and tomato gravy are the things I grew up with

  23. Karen posted 02/27/2012

    Tollhouse cookies and bay scallops from Massachusetts- I was born there and lived the first 22 years of my life there.And Stonington sea scallops from Connecticut cause that's where I live now- they're the best!

  24. MTNative posted 02/27/2012

    As a Montana native I am perplexed by your list for Montana to say the least. Have you ever been here, eaten anything from our state? Probably not. Finger Steaks, really? Maybe after a night out drinking I'd go to the all night cafe and order finger steaks – no I'd order an omelete. Bison burgers, obviously you haven't priced out what a pound of bison burger goes for these days. Bison burgers are more the fare of tourists not locals. Elk Stew…there are much better things to do with elk than that. Huckleberry pie, I suppose I'll give you that one. Last, but not least….Smettanick Pie, I have never ever heard of it let alone ever eaten it!

    You want some suggestions for Montana? How about Pasties, Pork Chop Sandwiches, Sweet Potato Salad, Chokecherry jelly, syrup, wine, Flathead Cherry anything, Steak, Steak, Steak, oh and Steak. This state is full of cattle ranches. Guess what most people eat around here?

  25. Sarah Putnam posted 02/27/2012

    How come no one mentioned "The Gambler's Special" for Nevada? And please reply if you need me to explain it.

    • kala posted 02/28/2012

      Ok, I'll "bite"…. what's the Gambler's Special? Steak and eggs?

      • Sarah Putnam posted 03/14/2012

        It's a prime steak and potatoes for $7.77.

  26. kala posted 02/28/2012

    Missouri loves their Bar B Q! Smokers are always going full blast here YEAR ROUND! Ever tried smoked Rib steak?
    (slight smoke ring, then throw on an open barbeque to finish! Yum!!

  27. Suz posted 02/28/2012

    For MA I expected to see something with cranberries, clam chowda, Indian pudding, Boston baked beans (more so than beans and franks). Coffee and doughnuts from a certain purveyor is a dearly loved combo here in MA. Probably consumed by our residents more regularly than anything on the list. (Sad but true.) Fish and chips should be on the list. But from the list here I'd vote for Boston Brown Bread (which one must eat with Boston baked beans!)

  28. EdW posted 02/28/2012

    I live on the Maryland/Delaware line so I voted for Maryland. the dishes for Delaware were the same any way. Actually Delaware's dish would be Scrapplesince Bridgeville is the home of RAPA Scrapple.

  29. Joan Rees posted 02/28/2012

    I don't quite understand why the voting took me to a facebook page and I couldn't find a place to vote
    however originally being from Ohio and being Slovenian on my Mothers side I choose Poticia….both nut and poppyseed……however I fondly remember Sauerkraut balls and have a recipe for them.

  30. Jay posted 02/29/2012

    Gotta go with chicken wings for NY. A lot of the foods i saw listed for other states I have never heard of but chicken wings are so wonderful you can now find them in every state. Nuff said!

  31. Sue posted 02/29/2012

    Buffalo Wings for New York, I'm from Buffalo, what can I say!

  32. barb posted 03/04/2012


  33. Wonder_Vegan posted 04/11/2012

    When are you going to post results? I am very interested!

  34. […] I have basically waited wayyy too long for The Cooking Channel’s blog to update its results on the “50 States, 50 Dishes” post. You can read it here. […]

  35. Lyne posted 06/18/2012

    I love how it seems that its a regional thing. In washington state. Yeah there is seafood… On the coast.. The eastern part of the state. Not so much.. Just saying..

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