Trends Across the Country: Much Mexican Food

Deep-fried and served with fresh fixin’s, fish tacos are a fave amongst surfers and southern Californians.

To celebrate this year of the Olympics and a presidential election, Cooking Channel asked fans what dishes represent their states and then worked with our kitchens to create original recipes for each of the 50 states. (Read all about the project here.) Each state has its own unique food scene, but we couldn’t help but notice some trends across the map from coast to coast.

Though we discovered interesting recipes from all Across the Country, a few states’ dishes in particular caught my attention. It looks like I need to book a flight to visit the states that specialize in my favorite cuisine: Mexican.

From the great state of California comes one of my all-time favorites, Fish Tacos (pictured above). Whether you like them deep-fried and crispy or refreshingly topped with nothing but lime juice, these Southern California staples will turn your kitchen table into a taqueria.

A burrito was once accidentally dropped in the fryer (or so the tale goes), and the crispy, meat-filled chimichanga was born.

From the border state of Arizona comes a fried favorite: Pork Chimichangas. It’s basically a burrito that was dropped in the fryer — what could possibly be bad about that? Top it with some sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole and you’re set for a deliciously crunchy dinner.

Chile Verde gains its rich green color from small, firm and tart tomatillos and has subtle heat thanks to milder Anaheim chiles.

Also known as Colorado Green Chili, Chile Verde is a thinner, subtly spicy pork chili that won the vote of residents of the Centennial State. Its rich green color comes from crushed tomatillos that slow-cook in the pork base. Serve it with tortilla chips and lime wedges for a hearty meal.

In New Mexico, chiles are mixed to form a relish and thrown atop burgers with ample cheese.

It’s only fitting that the state vegetable of New Mexico, chiles, serves as the topper for this dish. Green Chile Cheeseburgers, like these piled-high beauties from Bobby Flay, show just how much grilling in New Mexico is influenced by their south-of-the-border neighbors. This beef patty is smothered in queso sauce and garnished with green chile relish and pickled red onions. It’s enough to make anyone say, ole!

Love these state dishes? Browse America’s best foods and more Mexican recipes: