A culinary tour of USA classic dishes – part 2
Following on from our gourmet tour of the USA, here is part 2 of our post on the national dishes you can enjoy in each region. Prepare to have your appetite whetted by meats, cereals and cakes as we work our way through the culinary classic dishes of North America state by state.Missed part 1? Catch up! Click here
A state that lies in the south east, near the Ohio River, Kentucky is famous for the Kentucky Derby horse race and being an area of great geological importance. Visitors to the state, particularly ones who love hiking, will enjoy exploring the Appalachian Mountains, the Red River Gorge and the Daniel Boone National Forest. The stalactites in the Mammoth Cave National Park are also a must-see sight. Relaxing in the evening, bourbon is heartily encouraged, although you can enjoy it as part of a Mint Julip, if you don’t fancy drinking it straight. If beer is more your thing, then beer cheese is the ideal sauce for your pretzels. The national dish of the state, however, has to be the Kentucky Hot Brown. This is a delicious turkey and bacon sandwich coated in melted cheese.
A melting pot of influences from France, Africa, and Canada, Louisiana is famous for New Orleans jazz, as well as Creole and Cajun cuisine. Gumbo; a meaty stew served with rice is a popular favourite here, as is Jambalaya, which is this southeastern state’s take on the Spanish paella. While you’re here, make sure you check out the French colonial architecture, lakes and swamps. It’s a great place for fishing and alligator-spotting!
Close to Canada with lakes and mountains, visitors to Maine love to ski the Sugarloaf in the winter months and go boating across Lake Sebago in the summer. Maine is known for its lobster. Want to try the best lobster in the world? You want to head to Maine. Steamed lobsters, lobster rolls and lobster pie. It’s all available here, alongside clam bakes and corn chowder.MarylandWith Baltimore as its largest city, the state of Maryland is another seafood capital. Enjoy steamed crab, crab cakes and crab chips, not to mention soft crab sandwiches. All best enjoyed as part of a fishing or hunting trip.
Famed for its clams, the clam chowder here is delicious! Dessert-wise, you’ll also want to try a Boston Creme Pie and Grapenut Custard. This is New England territory, which turns glorious shades of gold, brown and red in the Fall. It’s proud of its baseball team; the Red Sox and also for its heritage. This is the state where the pilgrims first landed.
Four of the great US lakes can be found in the midwestern state of Michigan, which is also known for its historical contribution to the automobile industry. Petrol heads will love the Henry Ford Museum, while nature lovers will enjoy the trails along the National Lakeshore, including Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks. When it comes to food, the must-try meal is a Coney dog. It’s similar to a hot dog, but coated in beef chilli sauce with added mustard and raw onions.
Home to the largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior, as well as 10,000 other lakes, Minnesota is on the Canadian border and is great for nature. You can enjoy a walk through Gooseberry Falls State Park or Voyagers National Park, stopping for a picnic and a snack of the state dish, Walleye Sandwiches. Walleye is the local fish. Meatballs and venison are also popular here.
This is a southern US state, where the homes of the wealthy have been turned into museums. It is perhaps most famously known as the home of the King, Elvis Presley. Blue crab, crawfish and fried chicken soul food are the order of the day here.
A Midwest state known for being Mark Twain country, as well as the home of famous historical US president, Harry Truman. It’s close to Kansas City and St Louis, as well as proudly introducing toasted ravioli to the world. Once tried, never forgotten.
Situated in the West, Montana has the Rocky Mountains, a glacier park and huge swathes of wilderness to enjoy. You can take trails that start here right into Yellowstone Park. The national dish of choice here is Rocky Mountain Oysters.
A midwestern state of prairies and plains, the main crop of Nebraska is the corn that feeds the cattle. It makes sense then, that steak is claimed as the state dish! Get ready to try mouth-watering steak that will change the way you view steak forever!
With its pretty forests, there’s no mistaking this is a state of New England and not surprising that the state dish is apples. While you’re here, enjoying the exquisite apple pie, make sure you pay a visit to the Appalachian trails of the White Mountains, where you’ll see black bears and moose (who might also be on the hunt for apples!)
Just a stone’s throw away from New York, New Jersey is an east coast state famed for its coastline and for being home to its Ivy League university, Princeton. Pork roll should be on every menu here. This is the ideal snack to take down on the beach with you.
Located in the southwest, the colonial Spanish influences of cities like Santa Fe are obvious. This state encompasses the Chihuahuan desert and it straddles the Rio Grande. Chilli peppers dominate the cuisine here. Want chilli con carne? New Mexico is the place to try it.
It might be known as the Big Apple, but before you leave this metropolis of skyscrapers and iconic buildings, it will be the memory of the humble New York bagel you ate that will stay with you forever. With their delicious deli fillings, you won’t be disappointed. There’s nothing quite like an enjoying a bagel in the middle of Central Park on a summer’s day, or in a cafe around midtown, as you move between attractions.
Situated in the southeast, North Carolina is known for the finest pulled pork you’ll try in the USA and given that it’s proving such a popular dish here, the British are loving its authentic taste.
North Dakota is in the Midwest and one of the settings for the film Fargo. Think plains and mountains, as well as influences from its Scandinavian heritage. Knoepfla soup is the state dish here. It’s a thick soup that consists of chicken and potatoes in an almost stew-like consistency. Delicious!
Another midwestern state with mountain trails, huge lakes and the city of Cleveland to explore, Ohio boasts the originally Eastern European dish of pierogis as its food of choice. These dumplings can have a sweet or savoury filling.
You might know about it from its musical namesake, but Oklahoma is proud of its pioneer town history. This truly is the land of the cowboys and what do cowboys eat? Well, if they’re from Oklahoma, it’s more than likely to be a fried chicken steak!
With its artistic heritage, Oregon is hipsterville. Situated in the Pacific Northwest and home to pavement cafes a plenty, this is where you can enjoy the famed local beer and impressively artisan snacks.
Ever heard of the infamous philly cheese steak? You will have by the time you’ve left Pennsylvania’s main city, Philadelphia. They’re delicious too. This is where you’ll find the iconic Liberty Bell and discover the place where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
On the east coast, near Connecticut, Rhode Island is full of seaside towns with a colonial character. It’s all about the seafood here. Clams and lobsters will be the catch of the day!
With an historical significance regarding civil war and the plantations, South Carolina has had quite the impact on the USA’s legacy, not to mention the cuisine of this huge, diverse country. Combining its influences of French, African and southern USA cultures, the national dish here is shrimp and grits.
When you think of South Dakota, you tend to associate it with its most famous sight, Mount Rushmore; the heads of four former US presidents carved out of the rock. This is also farming country and corn is a staple of everyone’s diet in this state. Cooked and served in a variety of ways, you’ll love the diversity of the corn recipes on offer here.
Boasting both Memphis and Nashville, this is the state you want to explore if you’re interested the old American music towns. Ribs is the dish of choice here and you’ll never have had them so good.
This is a large southern state which offers a two pronged attack on American culture; via its NASA space shuttle connections in Houston and its vibrant music scene in Austin. Bordering Mexico, the recognised state flavours are those of Tex Mex cuisine; a fusion of American and Mexican food.
Famous for Salt Lake City, a great skiing vibe and Mormonism, Utah is in the west and home to a lot of impressive national parks. As pioneer country, a lot of the traditional cooking was done in Dutch ovens. Honey, funeral potatoes and fry sauce; a mixture of tomato sauce and mayonnaise, are all Utah foods.
Bordered with Canada, in the far north east and home to hundreds of 19th century wooden bridges, Vermont is a state in New England. It’s little surprise that maple syrup is so popular here.
This is a must-visit state for civil war fans. There are plenty of historical sites here. Ham is the state food, which might sound a bit pedestrian, but there are so many great ways it can be served.
Not to be confused with Washington DC on the east side of the USA, Washington State is in the west and is home to the famous music scene city Seattle. When you’re in Washington state, you simply have to order the salmon!
As an exciting, spicy state, sandwiched between Ohio and Virginia in the east, it is perhaps fitting that West Virginia’s State food is a pepperoni roll!WisconsinYou can see two of the Great Lakes here; Michigan and Superior, as well as plenty of forests! This is a great state to enjoy a holiday. Its big city is Milwaukee; home of the Harley Davidson. As there are so many dairy farms here, fried cheese curds is considered a local dish everyone should try.
Wyoming is a landlocked state in the west, known for its most famous landmark, Yellowstone Park. You can spend whole days exploring this national park without seeing the same sight twice. Elk is considered a national state meat here.
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