Eating $100 in Every State
Mehmet Hilmi Barcin/istockphoto

The Real Value of $100 in Each State

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Eating $100 in Every State
Mehmet Hilmi Barcin/istockphoto

The Hundred-Dollar Menu

A $100 bill is still worth $100, no matter where you spend it in the United States. It's only the buying power of that $100 that changes. As the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows through “regional price parity,” which measures how much a certain amount of money will buy you in specific places according to the Consumer Price Index, the value of $100 fluctuates from state to state. So what does that value add up to in each state? Since each state uses that $100 to buy different things, we took a look at how many favorite notable local products you could eat in each state. In some states, that $100 will feel like it gets you a whole lot more.

Related: What Your Salary Is Really Worth In Every State

irondalecafe
Courtesy of irondalecafe.com

Alabama

Regional price parity: 86.7
Value of $100: $115.47
How many fried green tomatoes will $100 get you at the Irondale Cafe, the setting for the 1991 film “Fried Green Tomatoes”? We don't know, since those tomatoes aren't an a la carte item — they're one of at least two sides served with various meats. That said, you could serve nine people and still have some leftovers if you ordered the “Meat and 2” package from the cafe's catering menu.

Alaskan King Crab, Glacier Brewhouse
GlacierBrewHouse/facebook.com

Alaska

Regional price parity: 104.4
Value of $100: $94.08 
Alaska hasn't designated any particular state food, but Alaskan king crab seems like a fine choice to us. The Glacier Brewhouse in Anchorage sells half-pound plates of Bering Sea King Crab legs for $27.95 — so $94.08 will buy enough for three people and, maybe, some soft drinks.

Chimichanga, Macayo
Macayo's Mexican Table/yelp.com

Arizona

Regional price parity: 96.4 
Value of $100: $104.28 
Arizona lays claim to the deep-fried burrito known as the chimichanga, but few as vociferously as the owners of the Macayo's chain. You can order eight $12.99 Chimis de Macayo at Macayo's Phoenix location, but you'll have to spring for drinks.

Fried Pickles, Cotham's
Courtesy of tripadvisor.com

Arkansas

Regional price parity: 86.5 
Value of $100: $115.07 
While some will claim fried catfish as Arkansas' key dish, consider the fried pickles that Bernell “Fatman” Austin first sold at his Duchess Drive In — across the highway from the Atkins Pickle Plant just outside of Little Rock — in 1963. Austin closed his last drive-in 40 years ago and died in 1999, but fried pickles live on. At Cotham's in Little Rock, a starter plate of fried pickles goes for $6. With $115.07, you could order 19 plates of them.

Related: 30 Classic Drive-In Restaurants That Endure

Burrito, El Farolito
Matthew L./yelp.com

California

Regional price parity: 114.8
Value of $100: $87.41
Pile it high, roll it tight, and have enough of an appetite to finish it: We're going for Mission burritos. Originally the food of choice for California farm workers who needed large amounts of food they could eat by hand, the big burrito from the Mission District eventually made its way across the country. Here, $87.41 will get you a dozen super burritos ($6.99) from El Faro in the Mission District, or 10 overstuffed El Gigante Burritos ($7.99). Go with the latter.

Rocky mountain oysters!! At Buckhorn Exchange in Denver
Rocky mountain oysters!! At Buckhorn Exchange in Denver by discopalace (CC BY-NC-ND)

Colorado

Regional price parity: 103.2
Value of $100: $97.09
Because Colorado can't make up its mind about an official state dish, we're just going to pick one for it: Rocky Mountain oysters. Created by western ranchers who had to use all parts of the animal, this dish uses the testicles of various animals to create a grilled or fried appetizer popular in the kitschier corners of Colorado. The Buckhorn Exchange in Denver, for instance, sells full orders for $17 apiece. Your $97 will get you five full orders, and a $10 half order for one of your more squeamish friends.

Apizza, Ernie's
ErniesPizza/facebook.com

Connecticut

Regional price parity: 108
Value of $100: $92
We could give this honor to Ted's Restaurant and its steamed cheeseburgers ($92 will get you 13 burgers at $6.75). But we're going to go with New Haven's Neopolitan-influenced apizza. The standard-bearer of this scorched pizza is Frank Pepe (which is now franchised throughout New England), but our pick is Ernie's just off of the Merritt Parkway. There, $92 will get you four large Ernie's Specials (mozzarella, sausage, and mushrooms).

Scrapple for Breakfast
Celeste M./yelp.com

Delaware

Regional price parity: 100.1
Value of $100: $99.80
We could just as easily give scrapple to Pennsylvania, but that state already has a lot of competing food interests — and scrapple has been in the Brandywine Valley since the Colonial era, making use of every part of the pig by grinding it into slurry and shaping it with cornmeal. The Hughes Delaware Maid Scrapple plant is here, and Lucky's Coffee Shop in Wilmington sells it as a side for $3. That will bring 33 servings for $99.80.

Cubano, La Ideal
Tony L./yelp.com

Florida

Regional price parity: 99.9 
Value of $100: $100.30
Though there's a case to be made for Key lime pie, you ignore the modern history of Florida if you overlook the Cubano. Tampa claims it was created by Cuban workers at its Ybor City cigar factories and includes salami and mojo sauce atop its blend of pork, ham, swiss cheese, and pickles. Miami lays its own claim and wonders what salami is doing on a sandwich that isn't a medianoche. The tourist spots in Tampa will rake you for more than $10 a sandwich, but La Ideal still makes a 7-inch Cubano for $4.99. That'll give you 20 sandwiches for your $100.30.

Cheese Grits, Home Grown
Tramy V./yelp.com

Georgia

Regional price parity: 92.5
Value of $100: $108.58 
Georgia claims peaches as its state fruit, but grits as its official prepared food. Much as we'd love to dig into $108.58 worth of peach pie (which will get you four family-sized peach pies at Panbury's in Atlanta, or a Georgia pecan pie for the same price), we're going to stick with grits here. The cheese grits at Home Grown in Atlanta are a side option for just about every meal, but can be had on their own for $3. That's 36 bowls of grits.

Kalua Pig, Yama's Fish Market
Greg T./yelp.com

Hawaii

Regional price parity: 118.5
Value of $100: $84.46 
Pick any of the produce, fish, or pork dishes you'd like, but nothing is as ubiquitous on the islands as the plate lunch. At Yama's Fish Market in Honolulu, a plate of Kalua pig, a scoop of mac salad, and a scoop of rice goes for $8.45. That will give you nine plates for $84.46, with plenty left over for drinks.

Potato, Spuds
Suzie D./yelp.com

Idaho

Regional price parity: 93.0
Value of $100: $107.53
Poutine is more of a French-Canadian delicacy, potato pancakes/latkes have a deeper cultural connection, and just about anywhere in the country can make a decent french fry or baked potato. So where does that leave Idaho and its official food? In great shape at Spuds in Sandpoint, where a full menu of oven-roasted potatoes includes the Papas Fresca with olive oil, tomatoes, avocado, green onions, Himalayan pink sea salt, a squeeze of lemon, and fresh ground pepper. At $7.75, you could take home 13 or have one a month with a splurge day worked in.

Cheddar and Caramel Corn, Garrett
Courtesy of garrettpopcorn.com

Illinois

Regional price parity: 98.5
Value of $100: $101.11
Sorry, Chicago, but your salad hot dog, pizza casserole, and soaked pepper beef don't represent all of Illinois. Popcorn has been designated the official snack food of Illinois, and any visitor who's been to Chicago's Loop or O'Hare Airport (or satellite locations in Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas, D.C., New York or abroad) has come across Garrett and its mix of cheddar and caramel corn. While hot bags of it can be had for less in Illinois itself, a 1-gallon paint-can tin of it can be bought online for $33. That's three gallons for your $101.11.

nicks kitchen
nickskitchen.com

Indiana

Regional price parity: 89.8
Value of $100: $110.74 
The pork tenderloin sandwich birthed at Nick's Kitchen in Huntington is the state's unofficial sandwich. Either deep-fried or grilled, it started as a take on wiener schnitzel by German immigrants who had a tough time getting their hands on veal in the Midwest. Today, with Nick's selling this plate-sized breaded sandwich for $7 (according to a call we made to Nick's), you could get 15 sandwiches and have enough left over for a couple of soft drinks. Meanwhile, that same $110.74 will get you 22 $5 “little ones” that aren't quite as daunting.

Campbell's Concessions
campbellscorndogs/facebook.com

Iowa

Regional price parity: 89.8
Value of $100: $110.86
The Iowa State Fair and its fried foods on a stick are legendary. The corn dog, though its Iowan roots are disputed, is a valued part of the State Fair and the centerpiece of its charitable kickoff event and fundraising drive. There are more than a dozen takes on the corn dog at the State Fair, but prices are going up. Campbell's Concessions in Des Moines puts a base price of $6 on its corn dogs, which is enough for 18 corn dogs.

Burgers at White Castle
White Castle/yelp.com

Kansas

Regional price parity: 90
Value of $100: $110.50
We should be forever grateful to Kansas for White Castle. Founded in Wichita in 1941, White Castle and its steam-grilled sliders have made their way across the country and into just about every supermarket freezer section. At 93 cents apiece, you could order 118 fresh sliders with cheese for $110.50 … but you'd have to pick them up in Columbia, Missouri, as there are no White Castle locations in the chain's birthplace.

Maker's Mark Whiskey
Courtesy of thewhiskyexchange.com

Kentucky

Regional price parity: 87.9
Value of $100: $113.90
The state fruit is the blackberry, the unofficial state dish is a stew known as Burgoo, and the most well-known state food export kicked “Kentucky” out of its name to go as KFC. But you don't have to trudge the Bourbon Trail to know that Kentucky's most beloved export is whiskey. At Louisville's Total Wine, $113.90 can either get you one 750 milliliter bottle of Blood Oath Bourbon Pact. No. 5 or 3 liters of Maker's Mark with plenty left over.

Duck and Andouille, Galatoire's Restaurant
Michael U./yelp.com

Louisiana

Regional price parity: 90.1 
Value of $100: $110.82 
In 2004, the Louisiana legislature dubbed gumbo the state's official cuisine. For $110.82, you can get 14 cups ($7.50) or 12 bowls ($8.75) of duck and andouille gumbo at Galatoires or 6 quarts ($18) of seasonal gumbo at Cochon Butcher.

Chowder, Gilbert's Chowder House
Marita G./yelp.com

Maine

Regional price parity: 98.4
Value of $100: $101.63
Maine keeps its simple: Cold lobster meat stuffed into a warm, buttered, contrarian New England hot-dog bun. The lobster roll makes people spend an entire summer waiting in line at Red's Eats in Wiscasset just for a taste. But if you're just going up to Portland to see the lighthouse and make a beer run, pop into Gilbert's Chowder House, one of the last divey, portside seafood houses in this rapidly changing dock city. At $14, you can get seven of them.

Steamed Crabs, Mr. Bill's Terrace Inn
Nia L./yelp.com

Maryland

Regional price parity: 109.4
Value of $100: $91.32 
A Maryland crab experience? You have to put newspaper down under your plate, strap on a bib, and use a mallet, or you’re missing it. Mr. Bill's Terrace Inn in Essex had a dozen steamed crabs for $75 to $85 for eat-in, and $75 for carry out. You could throw in some corn on the cob ($2 apiece) or melted butter (25 cents), or you could get the takeout and pocket some of Mr. Bill's garlic-based crab seasoning ($10.50).

Steak Tips, Galway House
Mr. Bean B./yelp.com

Massachusetts

Regional price parity: 107.9
Value of $100: $92.76 
In our experience in Massachusetts, there are few dishes that appear on menus as often as steak tips — marinated flap meat or tri-tip that more upscale establishments sell as bavette steak. Massachusetts has to share a chowder with the rest of New England, has to argue with a bunch of other coastal states over who makes the best clam strips, and has a cream pie in Boston that nobody actually eats, but it has steak tips largely to itself. A plate of sirloin tips at the Galway House in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood goes for $13, which gets you seven servings for your $92.76.

lawrys pasties
lawryspasties.com

Michigan

Regional price parity: 93
Value of $100: $107.18 
Michigan has tried to lay claim to Sicilian pizza (which cropped up back east before it ever hit Detroit and doesn't use Wisconsin cheese), cherries, paczki, Great Lakes fish, apples, rye bread, and various other items more closely associated with places other than Michigan. But few of those items have become more inherently Michigan than the pasty, which was brought over by Cornish miners and embraced by the Yoopers of the Upper Peninsula. Lawry's in Ishpeming and Marquette has been making them for more than 70 years. At $5.45 each, you’ll get 19 of the 12-ounce beef pasties for $107.18, with some change back.

Lefse, Jacobs Lefse Bakeri
Jacobs-Lefse-Bakeri/facebook.com

Minnesota

Regional price parity: 97.5
Value of $100: $102.56
Minnesota gave you the Honeycrisp apple, but it also puts forth a “hot dish” casserole as its unofficial food. It can do better. While we'll acknowledge that many of its tastes skew Scandinavian, we'll give lutefisk a pass and go with lefse: A soft Norwegian flatbread made on a griddle from a mix of potatoes, flour, butter, and cream. At Jacobs Lefse Bakeri in Osakis, a family pack of 25 rounds goes for $50. If you pick up two for $100, you'll still have some change left over for some supermarket jam.

Po' Boys, Rosetti's
RosettisBiloxi/facebook.com

Mississippi

Regional price parity: 85.7 
Value of $100: $115.74 
There's no way to win or lose a Mississippi food debate. Gulf shrimp, gulf oysters, blue crab, barbecue, comeback sauce, mud pie, okra … there isn't much that Mississippi doesn't do well. But its po' boys, with all apologies to Louisiana, get the most into one bite. Rosetti's in Biloxi serves most of the items mentioned above, but it’s Rosetti po' boy with blue crab patty, cheese, and fries at $9.99 takes this in a walk. That's 11 full plates for just under $115.74.

Ribs, Roper's Ribs
ropersribsbbq/facebook.com

Missouri

Regional price parity: 89.5
Value of $100: $111.73 
You have to be a monster to suggest anything other than barbecue here, but what do you pick: St. Louis or Kansas City style? Don't. Joes' Kansas City will give you a slab of ribs and sides for $25.99. Roper's Ribs in St. Louis will give you a slab of St. Louis ribs and sides for $21.99. You could get two slabs from each and still have enough left over to get a drink or two.

Dinner, Cafe Kandahar
Courtesy of tripadvisor.com

Montana

Regional price parity: 94.6 
Value of $100: $106.27 
With plenty of elk and bison still roaming Big Sky Country, it isn't odd that some of it would find its way into the local cuisine. At Cafe Kandahar in Whitefish, the Snug Bar features an $11 elk burger on its menu, as well as a $13 buffalo and elk meatloaf. That's either nine burgers or eight servings of meatloaf for your party.

Reuben, Crescent Moon
John A./yelp.com

Nebraska

Regional price parity: 89.6 
Value of $100: $110.50
Listen, New York, you have dozens of options for your “official” food before you even consider the Reuben. Can you just let Nebraska have its simple story of Reuben Kulakofsky, a poker game at Omaha's Blackstone Hotel in the 1920s, and the miraculous invention of this overly convoluted corned beef sandwich? TheCrescent Moon in Omaha sells one for $9.49 and can give people 11 sandwiches for that price. Know how many Reubens that $110.50 gets you at Katz's Deli on the Lower East Side? Four, and with turkey instead of corned beef.

Buffet Meal, Rampart Casino
M S./yelp.com

Nevada

Regional price parity: 97.6 
Value of $100: $102.67 
Think Nevadan cuisine and the buffet likely comes to mind — mediocre food in bulk for sustenance between casino visits. There are good ones, though. While the Wynn's buffet and the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars tend to be somewhat higher in price, that $102.67 could feed a family of four at the Paris Las Vegas weekend dinner buffet. Caesars offers similar buffet deals at the Flamingo and Rio, but if you're willing to get off the strip a bit, that $102.67 easily covers a week's worth of lunch ($11.99) and brunch ($12.99) buffets at the Rampart Casino.

Coconut Chicken Tenders, Puritan Backroom
Ashley S./yelp.com

New Hampshire

Regional price parity: 105.8 
Value of $100: $94.43 
The Puritan Backroom in Manchester, founded by Greek immigrants who also put kebabs, spanakopita, and fried feta on the menu, claims to have invented chicken tenders in 1974. Other sources say they only likely invented the name, but that's enough to make it a bona fide New Hampshire contribution to U.S. cuisine. You can have them spicy, Buffalo, or coconut, but the standard version with house sauce is $14.50 — which gives you six plates of tenders for way less than $94.40.

Sandwich, Six Brothers Diner
Ari J./yelp.com

New Jersey

Regional price parity: 112.9 
Value of $100: $88.34 
New Jersey debates whether to call its processed mystery meat pork roll or Taylor ham, but a 6-ounce box costs $3.39 at any Shop-Rite in New Jersey, and a $2.19 generic can only add so much more mystery. That adds up to 26 to 40 boxes of pork roll, depending on your preference. If you're feeling spendy, upgrade to a $5.95 Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese sandwich at the Montclair, N.J.-based Six Brothers Diner. You'll still get 14 sandwiches for your $88.34.

New Mexico Meat Enchiladas, Cafe Jalisco
Terri B./yelp.com

New Mexico

Regional price parity: 93.3 
Value of $100: $106.84 
Home of the Hatch chile, New Mexico doesn't play around with the dishes that use them. The Jalisco Cafe in Silver City warns customers on its menu that you can't send back a dish for being too spicy and offers tasters of dishes they're unfamiliar with. We'd recommend the New Mexico Meat Enchiladas with chicken and green hatch chiles for $10.99. That $106.84 will be enough for nine, but will leave enough for you to have a fried egg placed atop one of them.

Bagels, Ess-a-Bagel
EssABagel1976/facebook.com

New York

Regional price parity: 115.8 
Value of $100: $86.51 
We thought about this one for a while and determined that while other cities have made valiant attempts at New York pizza, deli sandwiches, Buffalo wings, and even bodega chopped cheese, they fail miserably at making New York bagels. Boiling the bagels is the least of what a bagel place needs to do, but it's where most places give up before simply making bagel-shaped rolls. AtEss-a-Bagel on the Upper East Side, a baker's dozen bagels (13) sell for $17.40 unsliced. That $86.51 will buy you four bakers' dozen (52 bagels) and another 11 individual bagels for 63 in all.

Barbecue, Lexington BBQ
Scott M./yelp.com

North Carolina

Regional price parity: 91.3 
Value of $100: $110.01 
We toyed with the idea of giving you $110.01 in pimento cheese. Instead, we're walking into the minefield that is Carolina barbecue. Representing the West, we have Lexington BBQ and its $10.70 chopped barbecue plate with fries and rolls. Out of the East, we have the Skylight Inn and its $8 plate with bread and a side. Either can feed 10 people for $109.10, but the latter leaves a bit more change than the former.

Kuchen, Kroll's
KrollsDiner/facebook.com

North Dakota

Regional price parity: 90.1 
Value of $100: $109.29 
The German dessert Kuchen took on a life of its own in North Dakota. Basically pastry, fruit filling, and custard topping, Kuchen is filled with rhubarb, strawberries, cherries, apricots, and just about any other fruit you can imagine, and is served at the Kroll's German-American diner chain throughout North Dakota for $3.99 a slice. That's 27 slices, or two- to three-and-a-half pies, depending on who's doing the slicing.

Chilli, Empress
Kevin F./yelp.com

Ohio

Regional price parity: 88.9 
Value of $100: $111.98 
Empress, Skyline, or Gold Star — all are Cincinnati “chili” that bear no resemblance to anything Americans would recognize as chili. A small “3 Ways” bowl of Skyline Chili costs about $5. That's about 22 bowls.

Chicken-Fried Steak, Ann's Chicken Fry House
Yu L./yelp.com

Oklahoma

Regional price parity: 89.0
Value of $100: $112.36
Oklahoma prizes its chicken-fried steak, and Ann's Chicken Fry House on Route 66 in Oklahoma city is more than happy to provide it. The best deal for your money is a full pound for $13.65, which will get you eight dinners for your $112.

Marionberry Pie, Willamette Valley Pie
Courtesy of wvpie.com

Oregon

Regional price parity: 99.5
Value of $100: $100.20
Marionberries: For when your state is overgrown with Himalayan blackberry but you feel the need to create a different berry just for laughs. Each summer, anyone within earshot of Oregon has to hear about the sweet-yet-tart flavor of this Oregon State University cultivar while homeowners and landscapers around the state battle literal walls of wild-growing blackberry. You can either buy two $39 Marionberry pies from Willamette Valley Pie, buy 10 of Fred Meyer’s 2-pound bags of frozen marionberries for $9.29 a pop, or you can pocket your money, drive on any Oregon road in July, pull off at the nearest overgrown culvert and pick bushels of blackberry on your own.

Sandwich, DiNic's
Robin K./yelp.com

Pennsylvania

Regional price parity: 97.9 
Value of $100: $101.63 
Pennsylvania has given the world Hershey's chocolate, Just Born candies (Mike and Ike), Snyder's of Hanover pretzels, Herr's chips and pretzels, Utz snack foods, Tastykakes, Sturgis pretzels, Auntie Ann's pretzels, Yuengling beers, Turkey Hill ice cream, Heinz ketchup, Philly cheesesteaks, Primanti Brothers sandwiches, root beer, and stromboli. But a $7.70 roast pork, sharp provolone, and broccoli rabe sandwich from Dinic's in Philadelphia may be the state's greatest culinary contribution. That $101.63 buys 13 sandwiches, but could basically buy a tasting platter of everything mentioned above.

Autocrat Coffee Syrup
Courtesy of target.com

Rhode Island

Regional price parity: 98.6
Value of $100: $100.40
Rhode Island has some of the most insular cuisine in the country: Del's frozen lemonade, Woonsocket dynamites, Awful Awfuls, coffee cabinets, gaggas. But our favorite is coffee milk, largely because it's easy to make anywhere: Target sells bottles of it online for $4.99. That's roughly 20 bottles, or years of coffee milk, for $100.40.

Shrimp and Grits, Hominy Grill
Richard R./yelp.com

South Carolina

Regional price parity: 90.4 
Value of $100: $110.74 
South Carolina's lowcountry cuisine shares a heritage with Georgia's and looks an awful lot like cajun. It's why we've held off on shrimp and grits to this point, but we'll note that you can get seven plates of it at $14.50 each at the Early Bird Diner.

Sample Native American Fare
Laughing-Water-Restaurant-at-Crazy-Horse-Memorial/facebook.com

South Dakota

Regional price parity: 88.2 
Value of $100: $113.25 
Fry bread is the official state bread of South Dakota, but that's a mixed blessing. Made by Native American tribes from provisions issued by the U.S. government during a 300-mile forced relocation from Arizona to New Mexico, fry bread stands as a symbol of both native resolve and suffering. The Laughing Water Restaurant at the Crazy Horse Memorial in Custer serves fry bread as part of a “Native American Taco” with meat cheese and beans. At $10.99, you can buy 11 with your $113.25. We'd suggest bringing 10 friends to see the memorial and find some significance in what you're eating.

Ribs and Pork Shoulder, Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous
Robert B./yelp.com

Tennessee

Regional price parity: 90.4 
Value of $100: $110.86 
Memphis barbecue is a must during a stop in Tennessee, and it's hard to go wrong with the Rendezvous. Pork is king here, and a combination of ribs and pork shoulder is $22, which means you'll be able to get five with no problem.

Frito Pie, The Shady Grove
Natalie M./yelp.com

Texas

Regional price parity: 97 
Value of $100: $103.20 
Listen, we're absolutely exhausted from breaking down regional barbecue's subregions, so we're going to give Texas barbecue a pass (sorry, brisket folks). Instead, we're going to go with Frito Pie. Now, you can get great Frito Pie at just about any Friday night football game in Texas (thank you, boosters), but if you're from out of town, you'll likely end up paying $6.99 for it at a place such as The Shady Grove in Austin. That's still 14 servings of Frito Pie, but just know the locals are laughing at you.

Pastrami Burger, B&D Burger
BandDBurgers/facebook.com

Utah

Regional price parity: 97 
Value of $100: $102.77 
Utah is more than Jell-O molds and funeral potatoes. While the fried scone is more of a domestic specialty, Utah's burger of choice — the pastrami burger — is available for as little as $4.99 at places such as B&D Burger. That's $20 pastrami burgers for your $102.77.

Maple Syrup, The Vermont Maple Farm
Courtesy of thevermontmaplefarm.com

Vermont

Regional price parity: 102.5 
Value of $100: $98.43 
Where do you go with Vermont? Ben & Jerry's ice cream? Cabot cheese? Just about anyone's beer? Nope, you go with the good stuff: Maple syrup. The Vermont Maple Farm will sell you a gallon of it for $59.99 and another half gallon for $36.99. At just under $98, that's about as on-the-nose as this little spending spree gets.

Virginia Ham, Smithfield
Courtesy of smithfieldmarketplace.com

Virginia

Regional price parity: 102.1 
Value of $100: $97.75 
Virginia has to share a lot of its cuisine with other states, but Virginia ham is a world all its own. Unfortunately, even with $97.75 you can buy only a spiral-sliced half a ham from Smithfield. You might fare better with sweet city hams, but that isn't what you came here for.

Columbia River Steelhead, Skamania Lodge's Cascade Dining Room
Mikal W./yelp.com

Washington

Regional price parity: 105.8 
Value of $100: $94.79 
You could either spend this money on about 23 drinks at parking-lot espresso carts, or you can have the salmon. Go to the Skamania Lodge's Cascade Dining Room in Stevenson, bring a friend, and have Columbia River Steelhead that was swimming in the river outside the restaurant window that morning. For $32 a plate, you'll have some of the best salmon you'll ever taste.

Pepperoni Rolls, Tomaro's Bakery
TomarosBakery/facebook.com

West Virginia

Regional price parity: 87
Value of $100: $114.16 
Cornbread is a side everywhere else, so we'd do the state a disservice by calling it a “dish” here. But pepperoni rolls based on recipes made by Italian immigrant coal miners are the real deal. Tomaro's Bakery in Clarksburg makes the most famous version, and you can have three dozen delivered to you anywhere in the country for $89.97.

Bratwurst, Milwaukee Brat House
Dave M./yelp.com

Wisconsin

Regional price parity: 92.4 
Value of $100: $107.76 
Wisconsin is great for cheese and beer, sure, but we don't see cheese and beer racing around the field at Brewers games. Bratwurst is king here, and the Milwaukee Brat House starts its bratwurst sandwiches at $7.95. That's 13 brats, which isn't so great when a box of that many brats sells wholesale for $22.46 straight from Usinger's. Do yourself a favor: Spring for four boxes of brats instead.

Buffalo Meat, Gun Barrel
Leo T./yelp.com

Wyoming

Regional price parity: 95.2 
Value of $100: $103.41 
This is where the buffalo roam, and you're going to find a lot of buffalo meat here. At the Gun Barrel in Jackson, that $103.41 will get you either two buffalo prime rib ($45 apiece), three orders of buffalo ribs ($33) or just five dollars shy of three buffalo sirloin ($36).