Alabama: White Barbecue Sauce
Never heard of white barbecue sauce? Well, you're probably not alone. Barbecue and barbecue sauce is a rich culture in the South, and the exact origin of the delicious saucy meats is a huge debate.
One thing is sure, though—Alabama is famous for the iconic white barbecue sauce. The delicious white sauce features mayonnaise and apple cider vinegar as star ingredients. It was first made in 1925 by Robert "Big Bob" Gibson, and it's still a sought after sauce today!
Muktuk, also known as whale, probably isn't the first thing we think of when we think of sushi. However, for Alaskans, that's quite different. Muktuk is bite-sized cubes of whale skin and blubber, typically served raw.
Muktuk has been an integral part of the Alaskan diet for centuries. If you go to Alaska, you may want to try it deep-fried the first time. Everything is good fried, right?
Arkansas: Skippy Peanut Putter
In 1933, Joseph Rosefield created Skippy peanut butter in Little Rock, Arkansas. Peanut butter lovers all over the world fell in love with the brand and still enjoy the delicious peanut butter today.
Peanut butter is a pantry staple in the South. Arkansas' central location certainly helped make the Skippy brand iconic.
California: French Dip Sandwich
Well, the French dip sandwich isn't French at all. The delicious sandwich was invented in Los Angeles. It's still up for debate who exactly invented the delicious sandwich. Two Los Angeles restaurants claim to have created the first French dip sandwich served with au jus.
Regardless of which chef actually brought this savory treat into existence, we lick our fingers in appreciation.
Colorado: Root Beer Float
The root beer float was invented in Cripple Creek, Colorado in 1893. The original name of the delicious treat was the "Black Cow," named after Colorado's Cow Mountain because the ice cream floating in the soda looked like snowy peaks!
Who would have thought that two sugary sweets could pair so perfectly?
Connecticut: Subway Sandwiches
Scrapple dates back to Delaware's early German Settlers. It's traditionally a mush of pork scraps combined with cornmeal and wheatflour. You might compare it to everyone's favorite, spam.
Also referred to as Pannhaas or "pan rabbit," this fried American classic tastes better than it looks.
Florida: The Cuban Sandwich
Georgia: Pimento Cheese
Ah, pimento cheese, the South's favorite cheese spread. Pimento peppers were almost nonexistent in the United States, and they were extremely expensive to import. A Georgian farmer struck a deal with the Spanish consulate to obtain authentic pimento pepper seeds from Spain, and he began growing them.
By the 20th century, 90 percent of pimento peppers in the United States came from Georgia. Thank goodness that farmer had a vision. Not sure what we would do without pimento cheese!
Hawaii: Sweet Bread
Hawaiian sweet bread came to the state when Portuguese immigrants flocked to Hawaii in the 19th century. The Portuguese laborers brought traditional bread baking techniques with them, and they combined their bread with the Hawaii sugar plantation to create a delicate sweet bread.
Today, Hawaiian sweet rolls are a favorite. Sugar and bread, what's not to love? They are the perfect combination of fluffy and light with a hint of sweetness.
Idaho: Huckleberry Ice Cream
Huckleberries are a smaller, more tart, and less common cousin of the blueberry. Just don't tell that to the residents of Idaho! They are protective of their famous huckleberry ice cream!
This combination of sweet and sour has attracted all kinds of visitors with its simplistic, tasty charm.
Illinois: Deep-dish Pizza
If you've ever visited the Windy City, you know how seriously the locals take their pizza. Although there isn't enough documentation to determine exactly who invented the Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, it was definitely created in Chicago, Illinois.
You can't hear the words "deep dish" and not think about Chicago. Thank you Illinois for this masterpiece of a food!
Indiana: Orville Redenbacher Popcorn
Valparaiso, Indiana is home to the "King of Popcorn," Orville Redenbacher. Orville began popping his own corn at only 12 years old.
Back in the 1950s, Orville Redenbacher selected a small group of Indiana family farmers to grow his exclusive kernel for his brand. Today, famers still grow that special kernel for the Redenbacher popcorn brand.
Iowa: Eskimo Pie
You won't find an Eskimo in Iowa, but you will find some incredible eskimo pies. The eskimo pie was invented in 1920 in Onawa, Iowa.
Eskimo pies are almost like an ice cream sandwich. The delicious treat was invented because a young child didn't have enough money to buy a chocolate bar and an ice cream. So the shop owner had the bright idea to put the two sweet treats together.
Kansas: Pizza Hut
The first Pizza Hut opened in Wichita, Kansas in 1958. The original location is now a museum at Wichita State University. Over the years Pizza Hut grew to become one of the largest pizza chains in the world.
Pizza is many people's favorite food, so when it was voted one of the most popular pizza places it was a big deal! I guess it's true, no one out-pizzas the Hut!
You may have heard of the Bourbon Trail. Yes, Kentucky is famous for its bourbon and they are certainly proud of it. The Bluegrass State makes 95 percent of the world's supply of bourbon.
Kentucky is a state known for many popular things...Kentucky Fried Chicken, Kentucky bluegrass, the Kentucky Derby. While we're thankful for it all, bourbon might be at the top of the list.
The first jambalaya was first created in New Orleans back in the late 1800s. It all began when Spanish settlers tried to make paella, but they couldn't find any saffron, so they substituted tomatoes.
Although the creation of jambalaya was an accident, it turned out to be a sought-after unique, cajun cuisine. It's now a staple in many southern states.
Maine: Potato Candy
Maine has always been known to be one of the top potato producers in the United States. Well, what do you do with all those extra spuds? Make potato candy, of course!
Potato candy has been a staple in Maine since the late 19th century. It may not sound the most appealing, but don't knock it til you try it!
Maryland: Berger Cookies
Maryland's Berger Cookies date back to 1835, when the German immigrant, Henry Berger, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland. Henry followed his dreams and opened a small bakery in the city.
Berger Cookies quickly became a staple in every Baltimore household. A soft, cake-like cookie covered with delicious hand-dipped fudge icing – anytime is a great time for a Berger Cookie!
Massachusetts: Boston Baked Beans
Boston baked beans aren't your typical baked beans recipe. Boston baked beans are coated in molasses for an elevated, sweet twist on a traditional recipe.
Boston baked beans date back to the colonial days when molasses played a large part in New England trade. The tradition was to cook a large pot of beans on Saturday, leave them sitting overnight to soak up the delicious flavors, and then enjoy them on Sunday.
Michigan: Vernors Ginger Ale
James Vernor, a Detroit pharmacist, concocted a new drink in 1862. It was the perfect mix of tonic, vanilla, spices, and ginger. Vernor was leaving for the Civil War, so he stored it in an oak barrel. When he returned four years later, that's when Vernors ginger ale was born.
James Vernor began selling the ginger ale in his drugstore in 1866, and the soda has been popular ever since. Some Michigan residents consider Vernors to be the oldest soft drink in the nation.
Minnesota is home to the cereal king, General Mills, which created the original "CheeriOats" back in 1941. If the name sounds familiar to you, don't be surprised.
This classic eventually became what we know as Cheerios, and is still one of the top-selling cereal brands today. These days the cereal has multiple flavors to choose from. Which one is your favorite?
Mississippi: Comeback Sauce
Mississippi's Comeback Sauce got its name because every time you have some it leaves you wanting to come back for more. Catchy, right? It makes me want to go out and try some.
Comeback sauce is a combination of mayonnaise, ketchup, and chili sauce. Some compare it to Thousand Island dressing. Have you ever tried this unique concoction?
Missouri: Toasted Ravioli
The first toasted ravioli has been traced back to the Italian neighborhood known as "The Hill" in St. Louis, Missouri. Toasted ravioli was discovered by accident at Mama Capisi's restaurant when ravioli was dropped into a fryer by mistake.
Some accidents have grave consequences, but in this case, we're happy mistakes were made. Otherwise, how would the world have ever known about toasted ravioli?
Montana: Bison Burgers
Montana has large herds of buffalo roaming all over the state, so it's only natural that the bison burger was invented here.
Montana has been the top producer of bison for decades and we expect it to stay that way for years to come. Bison is healthier than beef and packed full of flavor, what's not to love?
Nebraska: Reuben Sandwich
The first Reuben Sandwich was created by Reuben Kulakofsky during a poker game in the 1920s. The sandwich was created at Omaha, Nebraska's Blackstone Hotel, and was featured on the hotel's lunch menu.
The word spread like wildfire, and this delicious corned beef, thousand island, and sauerkraut sandwich quickly became a huge hit. If you haven't tried one by now, you're really missing out.
Nevada: The Chateaubriand
Chateaubriand is an extremely popular dish among Nevadans. It was originally invented in France in the 1800s, but became a staple food in Las Vegas in the 1950s.
If you aren't familiar with chateaubriand, it's a sizeable center-cut filet mignon, roasted and then served with potatoes and a tasty sauce. Chateaubriand is a very fancy (and expensive) dish!
New Hampshire: Apple Cider Doughnuts
Nothing says fall like sipping apple cider on a crisp, cool day. The state of New Hampshire decided to take it one step further by adding apple cider donuts to the mix.
If you've never had an apple cider donut, you are certainly in for a treat. Just make sure you get it while it's still fresh and warm! The outside is slightly crispy, and the inside is soft and cakey. Yum!
New Jersey: Salt Water Taffy
This classic, sweet and salty treat was originally created in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the late 1880s. Today, salt water taffy is still sold on the boardwalks of Atlantic City.
Thankfully, the treat is so popular, you can also find it in almost any specialty candy shop or dessert shop around the U.S. My sweet tooth is wanting some now!
New Mexico: Red and Green Chile Sauce
New Mexicans take their chile peppers seriously, and for good reason. Chile peppers produce millions of dollars and account for thousands of jobs in the state.
Most people want red or green chile sauce on their dish, but in New Mexico, you can order red and green chile sauce as a combo. This sauce is called "Christmas" and New Mexicans go crazy for the delectable combo.
New York: Waldorf Salad
The mixture of apples, celery, lettuce, and mayonnaise is a simple, yet brilliant mix. This salad was first served in 1893 at a charity ball honoring St. Mary's Hospital for Children.
The salad's debut coincided with that of the Waldorf hotel, and that's how the salad was given its name. Who would've thought the combination would become so popular?
North Carolina: Pepsi
In 1893, Caleb Bradham created the drink we know now as Pepsi in New Bern, North Carolina. Pepsi's original name was "Brad's Drink" and he sold it at his family-owned drugstore.
Bradham changed the name to Pepsi-Cola to recognize the stomach enzyme, pepsin, to help advertise the drink's qualities as a digestive aid and energy booster. It's crazy to think Pepsi has been around for over 120 years, and it's still an incredibly popular brand today.
North Dakota: Knoephla Soup
This simple potato and dumpling soup is just what the residents of North Dakota need to get through those long, cold winters. Knoephla soup was brought to North Dakota by German immigrants back in the late 1800s.
It may not look extremely appetizing, but it's got a solid flavor and is incredibly filling. It's still especially popular in North Dakota.
Ohio: Quaker Oats
Although the corporate offices for the Quaker Oats Company are now located in Chicago, the popular company originally began in Akron, Ohio.
Quaker Oats produces up to 360,000 pounds of oats each day. That's a lot of oats! However, with so much demand for the popular staple, they're just trying to keep up.
Oklahoma: Chicken Fried Steak
Only two states in the nation have an official "state meal" and Oklahoma is one of them. Of course, it's chicken fried steak, what else would it be?
If you have never had the pleasure of trying chicken fried steak it's time to change that. It's hearty and delicious, especially when you pair it with fried okra, cornbread, and some pecan pie.
Oregon: Tillamook Cheese
It all started when Canadian cheesemaker Peter McIntosh moved to Tillamook County, Oregon. McIntosh earned the nickname, "Cheese King of the Coast" because he taught all of the locals everything he knew about cheese.
Tillamook County Creamery Association, a farmer-owned co-op, makes renowned cheeses, ice cream, and butter. The co-op has been producing for over a century.
Pennsylvania: Philly Cheesesteak
Pat Olivieri invented the cheesesteak in the 1930s in (you guessed it) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Olivieri was a hot dog vendor who one day decided to grill some beef and put it on an Italian roll.
And there you have it, that's how the philly cheesesteak was born. A simple enough story for such a popular item today.
Rhode Island: Glee Gum
Glee gum is an all-natural gum that was invented in Providence, Rhode Island. The popular gum doesn't have any artificial sweeteners in it. Then why do people like it so much?
Instead, it is based on chicle, a tree sap that's harvested in Mexico. What made a person in Rhode Island think to have tree sap imported from Mexico for their gum, we don't know, but we're happy it happened.
South Carolina: Sweet Tea
There's nothing sweeter than a cold, refreshing glass of sweet tea on a hot summer day at least that's what they say in South Carolina. Actually, most southern states would say the same thing.
It's certainly fitting that sweet tea was originally created in the town of Summerville, South Carolina. The south salutes you. Where would we be without the great invention of sweet tea?
South Dakota: Chislic
You've probably never heard of chislic, a dish made of salted, cubed lamb or beef served with crackers. Chislic is a South Dakota favorite!
The dish was very popular among the first German and Russian immigrants, but South Dakota residents still love it today. You probably haven't tried it, but you should put it on your bucket list!
Tennessee: Hot Chicken
If you haven't tried Nashville's hot chicken, it's time to head to Music City and get some! The Nashville staple is fried chicken served with a cloud of cayenne pepper, and it's just as delicious as it sounds.
For an authentic Nashville experience, add a piece of white bread and some pickles, and you've got yourself a five-star meal. Just be sure you have a cold drink with you.
Texas: Frozen Margarita
Nothing beats a frozen margarita on a hot summer day. Texans definitely know about both of those things. Mariano Martinez, a Dallas restauranteur, figured out an ingenious combination.
He could make frozen margaritas in bulk by converting a soft-serve ice cream machine into a drink blender. Talk about creativity! We're glad there are such progressive thinkers out there in the world.
Utah: Fry Sauce
Everyone's favorite savory snack deserves its own sauce. Fry sauce is a combination of mayonnaise and ketchup. It may sound gross to you, but just give it a chance. You probably won't regret it!
Fry sauce was first invented at the Artic Circle fast food chain. The delicious sauce remains Utah's unofficial state condiment!
Vermont: Maple Syrup
Here's a random fact for you. Vermont produces about 2 million gallons of maple syrup annually. That's nearly half of all the maple syrup in the United States.
Vermont farmers used the sap from trees to provide an extra income during the slow, winter season. Many people believe maple syrup originated in Canada, but really we can all thank Vermont for its delicious contribution.
Virginia: Brunswick Stew
Virginia and Georgia are still in debate about which state can claim the origin of New Brunswick Stew. The people of Virginia believe the stew was first made in Brunswick County (hence the name).
This makes the claim pretty believable—we think this story is true. The stew was initially made with squirrel, but today chicken is the main star of this savory dish.
The first Cinnabon opened in 1985 at SeaTac Mall in Federal Way, Washington. Cinnabons have only ever been located in malls and airports. Maybe that's what adds to the appeal?
Rick Komen, the founder of Cinnabon, decided to put the ovens near the front of their buildings to lure people in with the scent of cinnamon and sugar. Well, it works sir, it works every time!
West Virginia: Pepperoni Rolls
Wisconsin: Cheese Curds
You can't visit Wisconsin and not stop at a roadside cheese stand for an order of fresh cheese curds. When you bite into a fresh cheese curd it will make a unique squeaking noise.
That's how you know they are fresh! Today, cheese curds are a popular appetizer on many menus nationwide. Thank you Wisconsin!
Wyoming: Taco John's
Taco John's started as a humble taco stand in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1969. Two local businessmen decided to buy the franchise and take it national.
Today, there are nearly 400 Taco John's in 23 states, which makes it one of the largest Mexican quick-service restaurant brands. Way to go Wyoming!