January 30, 2024 | Sammy Tran

The Weirdest Food In Every State


The Weirdest Food In Every State

When it comes to food, every state in America likes to put its own spin on the country's favorite dishes or come up with something entirely new and unique. But sometimes, they get a little too creative

These are the strangest foods in every state!

The Weirdest Food In Every State

Alabama: Banana And Mayo Sandwich

It may sound gross, but many down south swear by the banana and mayo sandwich. Even NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. loves this bizarre combo and said it's his favorite way to use may. 

The banana and mayo sandwich originated in North Carolina, but it's since become a staple throughout Alabama.

Close-up Photo Tasty fruit-based sandwichMarco Verch, Flickr

Alaska: Akutaq

Akutaq means "mix them together" in Yupik and, true to its name, is made up of anything that Inuit hunters were able to catch. 

Moose, caribou, fish meat, and seal oil are all blended up with berries to add a little sweetness to this frozen mixture. Some people eat it as a dessert, adding sugar and extra berries to it.

Iced Akutaq made from blueberries, raspberries and vegetable shorteningMatyáš Havel, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Arizona: Scorpion Lollipops

If you go into a gift shop in Arizona, you're guaranteed to run into scorpion lollipops. Real scorpions are covered in sweet candy and visible from inside the lollipop. 

Most people just eat the candy around the arachnid, but there are some daring few who down the whole thing—are you among them?

Close-up photo of a Scorpion Lollipop placed on human handcogdogblog, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

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Arkansas: Possum Pie

It sounds a bit iffy but luckily, there isn't any possum in this pie. Instead, you'll find layers of delicious chocolate pudding and cream cheese on pecan shortbread and topped with pecans and whipped cream.

The cake gets its name because they say the chocolate hidden under the whipped cream is like a possum pretending to play dead. We're not quite sure what they mean by that but the cake sure looks delicious.

Close-up photo of a Lize, Flickr

California: Sushirrito

In 2011, a restaurant in San Francisco revolutionized sushi by making it handheld and perfect for people who like to eat on-the-go. This was the birth of the sushirrito: sushi, cucumbers, and wasabi wrapped up in rice and seaweed like a burrito. It didn't take long for this delectable hybrid to become popular all over the state.

Close-up Photo of a Sushirrito placed in a plastic containerjenny8lee, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Colorado: Rocky Mountain Oysters

They may be called oysters, but these aren't from the sea. Colorado oysters are deep-fried bull privates. You might be skeptical, but people that try them claim they're quite good.

Close-up Photo of a plate with Rocky Mountain OystersVincent Diamante, Flickr

Connecticut: Clam Pizza

Every state likes to come up with their own version of pizza. In Connecticut, this led to the creation of the clam pizza, a thin-crust pizza that's topped with clams, mozzarella, garlic, and olive oil. This delicious combo is beloved throughout the state.

Close-up Photo of a Clam pizza on a white plate placed on a restaurant tableQuinn Dombrowski, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Delaware: Cream Chipped Beef

This one comes from the army cookbooks, where it's also known as “S.O.S." Creamed chipped beef is made by mixing dried pieces of meat in flour, butter, and milk, and then pouring it all over toast. 

The meal is believed to have originated in the Navy, in the early 20th century.

Close-up photo of a Cream chipped beef over biscuitscherrylet, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Florida: Gator

Gator is a delicacy in Florida, with the tail and ribs being the best parts for eating. Many restaurants in the state serve gator grilled or fried.

Close-up photo of Fried Gator chops in a white bowlAndrew, Flickr

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Georgia: Coke And Peanuts

This snack is a wonderful, bizarre blend of sweet and salty. Just toss some peanuts into a glass of cold Coca-Cola and chug it down.

Male hand holds a bottle of Coca Cola with peanutsSunvic, Shutterstock

Hawaii: Spam Musubi

You could say spam is pretty popular in Hawaii—Hawaiians go through 7 million cans of spam each year and hold the world's biggest spam festival. 

Musubi is the most popular way to eat spam. The meat is grilled onto a squash of sushi rice and wrapped in seaweed.

Close-up photo of Spam musubi on a plateJoey Rozier, Flickr

Idaho: Ice Cream Potato

Ice Cream Potato proves that looks can be deceiving—there are no potatoes in this cool dish. It's just vanilla ice cream that's covered in chocolate powder and shaped like a potato. Whipped cream topping adds to the effect.

Close-up Photo of Ice cream made to look like a baked potatoChrissy Wainwright, Flickr

Illinois: Spaghetti Pizza

Illinois took the country's two favorite dishes and made them into one delicious mashup. What's not to love about this one?

Close-up photo oh Spaghetti Pizza placed on a tableNick Sherman, Flickr

Indiana: Sauerkraut Balls

These little guys are so much more than they seem. Packed with bratwurst, sauerkraut, cream cheese, and some spices, these make for the perfect appetizer.

Close-up Photo of a white bowl with sauerkraut ballsstu_spivack, Flickr

Iowa: Walking Taco

Here's another one for people who love eating on the go: the walking taco. Take a bag of Fritos and mix in some taco meat, cheese, and sour cream, and you're good to go—just don't forget to grab a spoon.

Cooking pan with meat and other ingredient for preparing a walking tacoJodimichelle, Flickr

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Kansas: S'more Burger

A bar in Wichita came up with this interesting variation of a burger. It's literally just your average burger topped with chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers, but it's all the rage in Kansas.

Close-up S'mores on a white plate placed on a wooden table.Philip Chapman-Bell, Flickr

Kentucky: Soup Beans

Soup beans are a common dish in the Appalachian Mountains. It's usually made with pinto beans, bacon, and smoked ham hock. You can also serve it with cornbread and potatoes.

Close-up photo of a Soup Beans in a white plate placed on a table.Adam Schweigert, Flickr

Louisiana: Nutria

Nutria are basically swamp rats that have become invasive throughout Louisiana. So, people decided to start eating them. Grilling, roasting, and tossing them into stews are common ways of eating these tasty critters.

Close-up profile photo of A nutria on the grassTambako The Jagua, Flickr

Maine: Tomalley

Maine is famous for its lobster, and for some people, tomalley is the best part of the lobster. That might be a little surprising considering tomalley is the digestive gland of the lobster—A.K.A. lobster poop. 

Apparently, it's a delicacy. We'll let you decide on that one.

Close-up Photo of cold poached lobster with tomalley vinaigretteT.Tseng, Flickr

Maryland: Barbecue Muskrat

Muskrats aren't related to nutria, but they are just as tasty. So tasty that each year, the state hold a muskrat festival where people join together to barbecue muskrats. Some people say they taste like a combination of rabbit and alligator.

Close-up of a Muskrats head coming out of waterUSFWS Mountain-Prairie, Flickr

Massachusetts: Chow Mein Sandwich

You can find these in Chinese restaurants in southeastern Massachusetts. True to their name, chow mein sandwiches are just a bunch of chow mein noodles on a hamburger bun. You can get order them with just meat or add some vegetables to the mix.

Close-up photo of Delicious Chow Mein SandwichI G, Flickr

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Michigan: Detroit Coney Dog

This variation of the Coney Island hot dog is just a cheap hot dog topped with yellow mustard, bean-less beef chili, and diced onions. Simple yet delicious.

Close-up Photo of Detroit Coney Dog on a white plateEugene Kim, Flickr

Minnesota: Tater Tot Hotdish

This dish is popular throughout the Midwest, but many believe it to be the unofficial state dish of Minessota. It's a meat and veggie combo that's topped with cheese and tater tots before being baked to perfection.

Close-up Photo of Tater Tot Hotdish in a blue platerebeccaoutloud, Flickr

Mississippi: Koolickle

This tasty summer snack is easy to make. Just put some dill pickles in a jar of Kool-Aid and let them marinate for a week in the fridge.

Close up Photo of a Koolickle on a white plateBetty B, Flickr

Missouri: Provel Cheese

St. Louis is the best place to get Provel cheese. This buttery combination of cheddar, provolone, and Swiss cheese is the perfect topping for pizza and bagels.

Close-up Photo of packed Provel cheesekosheahan, Flickr

Montana: Pasties

To keep them going throughout the days, cowboys and miners needed something hearty and easy to carry. So they came up with pasties, little flaky pies filled with meat and potatoes. You can find these in restaurants all over Montana and South Dakota.

Close-up Photo of Two Homemade Cornish pastiesKolforn, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Nebraska: Hot Beef Sundae

It looks like ice cream, but it's definitely not a sweet dessert. The hot beef sundae is a scoop of mashed potatoes topped with roast beef, gravy, shredded cream, a bit of cream, and a cherry tomato on top.

Photo of a Hot Beef Sundae BoothBrent Moore, Flickr

Nevada: Cotton Candy Burrito

If you're looking for a sugar rush, look no further. The cotton candy burrito is all the rage in Las Vegas. Just get your favorite sprinkles, gummy bears, and any other sweets and roll them up into some cotton candy.

Cotton candy burrito pancake (Roti Saimai) on plateSomsit, Somsit

New Hampshire: Grape Nuts Ice Cream

Is a nut? Is it a grape? Neither. Grape nuts are more like cereal and are made with wheat and barley. They make a great topping for ice cream, where they can soften up and add some more flavor to the cool treat.

Close up photo of grape nut ice cream in a cupKristen Taylor, Flickr

New Jersey: Jersey Sloppy Joe

This new take on the traditional sloppy joe is more compact. It's basically a triple-layer sandwich with corned beef, roasted turkey, pastrami, all topped with Swiss cheese and your choice of Thousand Island or Russian salad dressing.

Close-up photo of a Sloppy Joe Sandwich on a white plateMatthewehoffman, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico: Green Chili Sundae

If sweet and spicy is your thing, then the green chili sundae is for you. This treat is made with vanilla ice cream layered in green chilis, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream.

Close-up Photo of Green Chile Sundae cupsjpellgen, Flickr

New York: Garbage Plate

It might sound gross, but people say it tastes pretty darn good. The garbage plate is made by dumping a mixture of French fries, hot dogs, baked beans, and macaroni salad on top of ground beef or hamburger meat. You can add some ketchup and mustard or hot sauce on top to complete the dish.

Close-up Photo of A red hot garbage plateEugene Peretz, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina: Livermush

Livermush also doesn't sound very tasty but it's a popular addition to any Southern breakfast or lunch. Like the name suggests, it's made of pig liver mixed with cornmeal and spices.

A pound of sliced, pan-fried livermush on a white plateDale Haas, Wikimedia Commons

North Dakota: Lutefisk

This dish has origins in Scandinavia, and is just whitefish that has been kept in lye. Scandinavian immigrants brought the dish to America, and it remained popular in areas where they settled, like North Dakota.

A fork next to a serving of lutefiskJonathunder, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Ohio: Goetta

Similar to livermush, goetta is made of ground beef and pork that is mixed with steel-cut oats, garlic, and onion.

Close-up Photo of a Goetta sandwiches on a white plateDavid Berkowitz, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma: Lamb Fries

Lamb fries are like Rocky Mountain Oysters. In short, they're lamb testicles that have been fried up with some seasoning.

Close-up Photo of Lamb fries on a white platePaul Lowry, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Oregon: Gooseneck Barnacle

Gooseneck barnacles are a common sight along piers. They're also quite tasty.

Gooseneck Barnacles (Lepas anatifera)Michel Estermann, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Pennsylvania: Scrapple

Also called Paahaas, meaning “pan rabbit", scrapple comes from the Dutch immigrants who settled in the state. This dish is made from pork scraps that are mushed up with cornmeal, flour, and seasoning, and then friend in the shape of a loaf. Scrapple is usually served with breakfast or lunch.

Close-up Image of cooked and uncooked scrapple on a white plateAlyo, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island: Pizza Strips

Similar to a focaccia, pizza strips are thick slices of pizza dough that's shaped into a rectangle and covered with tomato sauce. After being baked, it's finished with a sprinkling of Romano cheese.

Close-up Photo of Rhode Island Pizza StripsMark Bonica, Flickr

South Carolina: Cornbread And Milk

This snack is popular throughout the south, but it's particularly beloved in South Carolina. Just take some warm cornbread and soak it a bowl of milk.

Close-up Photo of a drinking glass filled up with milk  and crumbled cornbreadBetsssssy, Flickr

South Dakota: Chislic

Similar to kebabs, chislic is small cubes of skewered meat that's been fried until it's crispy. Chislic is usually made from lamb, but beef or venison can also work. Some people serve it with ranch dressing or marinate the meat in spices before frying it.

Close-up Photo of a White Plate with beef chislicGomboc2008, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Tennessee: The Fat Elvis

Named for the great Elvis Presley, this was apparently his favorite sandwich. Just take lots of peanut butter, some mashed bananas, and crispy bacon to complete the meal.

Close-up Photo of Fat Elvis Sandwich on a green plateAdam Preset, Flickr

Texas: Rattlesnake

When you're a rancher or a cowboy you can't afford to pass up a good meal. And rattlesnakes make for just that. Growing up to 8 feet long, the meat that can be gained from a full-grown rattlesnake is well worth the risk of getting bit trying to wrangle the critter.

Close-up Photo of a Rattlesnake Roundup, Fried rattlesnake meatKimberly Vardeman, Flickr

Utah: Pickle Pie

Invented by the Sunglow Café, pickle pie is a strange mix of sweet and tart. Diced sweet pickles are flavored with allspice and cinnamon before being baked into a pie crust. The end result is a filling that's similar to tart mincemeat.

Close-up Photo of a Pickle Pie From the Sunglow Restaurant in Bicknell, UtahJimmy Emerson DVM, Flickr

Vermont: Sugar On Snow

This tasty treat is easy to make: all you need is some fresh snow and hot maple syrup. When the syrup is drizzled over the packed snow, it makes the perfect taffy. Best of all, it's all natural.

Close-up Photo of some persons hand holding Maple syrup popsicleJaime Walker, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Virginia: Cownose Ray

The cownose ray is abundant in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. And it makes for a tasty snack. Diced ray is often substituted for scallops but it can also be used in many other dishes.

Photo of a school of Golden Cownose Rays (Rhinoptera steindachneri)Atomische, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Washington: Geoduck

This giant saltwater clam looks like something NSFW but people claim they're very tasty. They are usually served in sushi bars or as sashimi.

Close-up Photo of Geoduck Sashimi on a green plateEugene Kim, Flickr

West Virginia: Fried Squirrel

When hunters in West Virginia couldn't find anything good, they could always count on ending the day with a squirrel in the pot. Just like rabbits, squirrels are easy to cook in a variety of dishes.

Close-up Photo of Plate with fried squirrel placed on a dining tableJoel Abroad, Flickr

Wisconsin: Butter Burger

This new spin on the traditional cheeseburger ups the calorie count and juiciness. Just cook a meat patty in some butter and onions, then spread some more butter onto the burger buns.

Close-up Photo of a Butter Burger on a plateJoshua Bousel, Flickr

Wyoming: Frog Eye Salad

Don't worry, there aren't any frogs in this delicious snack. The frog eye salad is a twist on your traditional ambrosia salad. It's made with pineapple, coconut, mandarin oranges, marshmallows, and small pasta.

Close-up Photo of a Frogeye Salad in a green glass bowlJeffrey Beall, Flickr