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Trends Across the Country: Meat Pies

Handheld Meat Pies from Nebraska, aka Runzas, were made popular by a local fast food chain.

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.

As an Omaha, Nebraska native, I was really excited (and a little nervous) when I was called upon during recipe development of Across the Country in 50 State Dishes for my expertise in Nebraskan foods, specifically the beloved Runza. What the heck is a runza? It’s a handheld meat pie, similar to other meat pies that were voted as favorites by our Facebook fans across the country (check out the Michigan Pasty and West Virginia’s Pepperoni Rolls). Only the runza, of Russian and German origin, is filled with ground beef (yeah, Nebraska!), onions and cabbage. And, most critically, it is the specialty of the Midwestern fast food chain, RUNZA.

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