By Lauren Jones
Certain states can easily be distinguished by a type of food they produce or by a dish they’ve created. Does gumbo or key lime pie make you think of someplace specific? Part of the American allure is that cuisines change as one travels throughout different regions. Here are a few of the official state foods. We’ve also included some recipes and variations for you to try at home.
Alabama – State Nut: Pecan
Crunchy pecans complement many different types of cuisine. Added to a pie or used to encrust fish or top a salad, these nuts are nutritious and enjoyable year round.
- Pecan Pie Bars from KCTS 9 Cooks
- Pecan Crusted Sweet Potato with Sour Cream from the Stone Soup blog
California – State Fruit: Avocado
As the largest producer in the United States, California knows a thing or two about avocados. Eaten fresh, added to a taco, or mashed up into a zesty guacamole, avocados are rich in nutrients and simply delicious.
- Guacamole from Friday Arts’ “Art of Food”
- Tofu Avocado Salad from the Fresh Tastes blog
- Carrot, Tuna and Avocado Salad from the Fresh Tastes blog
Florida – State Pie: Key Lime Pie
A slice of Floridian key lime pie is a citrusy, tart treat. Made from eggs and fresh lime juice this light dessert is perfect for any Summer evening.
- Key Lime Pie from Check, Please! Chicago
- Lime Squares with Pistachio-Graham Cracker Crust from Everyday Baking
Georgia – State Fruit: Peach
Juicy peaches are a staple of Summertime fare. While they are most traditionally used in sweet desserts like pie or cobbler, they can also be a nice accompaniment to salsa or sauces.
Idaho – State Food: Potato
Whether mashed, fried or baked, potatoes are a comfort food that will never go out of style. Idaho is especially well known for its multi-use potatoes, as it produces one of the largest crops annually.
- Baked Potato Chips with Sour Cream and Onion Dip from the Fresh Tastes blog
- Roasted Italian Parmesan Potatoes from the Fresh Tastes blog
- Herb-Roasted Potatoes from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes from Everyday Food
Louisiana – State Cuisine: Gumbo
Its rich history and robust Cajun flavor gives Louisiana gumbo a mind of its own. Made with a variety of vegetables, chicken, seafood, or Andouille sausage, gumbo is a quintessential hearty soup. Serve it with some flaky French bread for dipping!
- Chicken Gumbo from Check, Please! Chicago
Maryland – State Food: Crab
One of the stars of the sea, crab is a sweet choice to add to a casserole, pasta dish or bisque. Maryland is known for its blue crabs that are fantastic freshly caught or as part of a crab cake.
- Crab Pasta and Tomato Sauce from the Fresh Tastes blog
- Crab Bisque and Garnish from Check, Please! Chicago
- Crab Cakes from Bay Area Bites
- Crab Spring Rolls from In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs
Maine – State Dessert: Blueberry Pie
Blueberries provide a wide range of uses from pie to jam. As Maine is one of the largest producers of blueberries in the U.S., it’s no wonder you are in for an enjoyable delight any time you visit.
- Lemon Blueberry Muffin Bread from the Fresh Tases blog
- Quick and Easy Blueberry Sauce from the Kitchen Explorers
Massachusetts – State Dessert: Boston Cream Pie
Did you know that Boston cream pie is actually a cake? This delectable dessert, created in 1856 at the Parker House Hotel in Boston is usually filled with custard or cream and frosted with chocolate.
- Boston Cream Pie from Everyday Baking
Texas – State Dish: Chili
While there are many variations to this dish, there’s no denying that chili is one hearty meal. Whether made with meat or taken in a vegetarian direction, chili is great served with corn bread or as a side dish at a barbeque.
- All American Beef Chili with Beans from the Fresh Tastes blog
- Spicy Black Bean Chili from the Fresh Tastes blog
- White Turkey Chili from KCTS 9 Cooks
Don’t see your state food listed here? Think we should have highlighted another state food? Leave us a note in the comments section below and tell us your thoughts!