Fruit Bowl Berry Medley with Strawberry Blueberry and Blackberry
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Do You Know Your Official State Food?

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Fruit Bowl Berry Medley with Strawberry Blueberry and Blackberry
Adventure_Photo/istockphoto

Legislated Edibles

Official state foods can range from the boring but all-American — milk and apples, anyone? — to the obscure, predictable, and just plain weird. From European-inspired pastries and pies to little-known vegetables, here are the foods that have been legislated to represent each state — including one official state meal that made us gain 10 pounds just thinking about it.


Related: Can You Guess Your State Flower?

Pecan Halves Tumbling out of a Measuring Cup
Brycia James/istockphoto

Alabama: Pecans and More

The Cotton State has a state nut (pecan), state fruit (blackberry), tree fruit (peach), dessert (Lane cake), and a state vegetable (sweet potato). The sweet potato just received its approval in April and, if you're wondering what Lane cake is, it's a three- or four-layer white cake with a bourbon-laced raisin filling. Yum. 


Related: Ridiculously Easy Dump-and-Bake Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Lot of pieces raw Pacific Red Fish Chinook Salmon cut into steak, ready for cooking various delicious dishes. Close-up flat lay of fresh King Salmon
geyzer/istockphoto
Mexican Chimichanga Burrito
EzumeImages/istockphoto

Arizona: None

The Grand Canyon State also has no official state foods (although it does have an edible state fish as well — the Apache trout). However, many have suggested that the chimichanga should be Arizona's state food. There are even accounts that the dish originated here. 


Curious to know who lays claim to inventing the chimichanga? Be sure to check out Legendary Restaurant Rivalries Across America.

Tomatoes on the vine
Kuvona/istockphoto

Arkansas: Tomatoes and More

The Natural State also has a number of state foods. Its state fruit and vegetable is the South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink Tomato; the state grain is rice; the Cynthiana is the state grape; and pecans are the state nut. 


Related: Eat Seasonal and Save: When to Eat Fresh Produce Year-Round


mixed nuts
FotografiaBasica/istockphoto

California: Nuts Galore

California has a state nut — four state nuts (or seeds, if you want to quibble), to be exact: the almond, walnut, pistachio, and pecan. Interestingly, in a proclamation as acting governor, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom tried to get some official state food legislation passed, including the artichoke as state vegetable, the avocado as state fruit, and rice as state grain. The legislature, however, did not pass those suggestions into law. 


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rocky mountain oyster
Amazon

Colorado: None

Colorado has not managed to name an official state food. However, in a 2019 poll regarding the Centennial State's "most Colorado Food," CPR News suggested the contenders be green chile, Rocky Mountain oysters, the Pueblo slopper (a cheeseburger drowned in green chile), the humble cheeseburger, the Mexican hamburger, the Denver omelet, or a microbrew. It also suggested "fast-casual dining" given the state's propensity for launching chains in that vein. The poll winner? Green chile. 


Related: Rocky Mountain Oysters and More Signature Cheap Eats From Every State

Greasy pizza
Максим Крысанов / istockphoto

Connecticut: Pizza

In February, Connecticut legislators introduced a bill that would make pizza the official food of the Nutmeg State. It was a choice that website CT Insider pitted against another iconic-yet-unofficial state food, the lobster roll. When the poll closed, pizza had won with 409 votes to the lobster roll's 323. The proposed bill, by the way, was passed by a vote of 131 to 9 in early May.


Related: The Craziest Pizzas in Every State

Homemade Warm Peach Pie
bhofack2/istockphoto
cherries
Don White/istockphoto

District of Columbia: Cherries

D.C. has an official fruit and it's the cherry, a designation that was made in 2006. Incidentally, this part of the country also celebrates an annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, which observes the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC. 


Related: 20 Prime Places to See Beautiful Cherry Blossoms

bright orange naval oranges on tree
MoJoStudio/istockphoto

Florida: Oranges

The orange is no surprise given that oranges are the state's highest-producing crop. But the Sunshine State also has an official pie, the key lime, and a state honey, Tupelo. Tupelo honey comes from the White Tupelo tree, which grows in swampy regions of Florida, Georgia, and beyond. 


Related: Floria Gifts To Showcase Your State Pride


Peaches And Nectarines - Summer
Nitr/shutterstock

Georgia: Peaches, Of Course

It's called the Peach State, after all, so yes, the peach is Georgia's state fruit. It also has a state veggie in the Vidalia sweet onion and a state prepared food — grits. 

Candlenut or kukui for cooking in Indonesia
harys kristanto/istockphoto

Hawaii: None

While Hawaii doesn't have official state food, it does have the kukui as its state tree and the kalo as a state plant. Both are edible and culturally significant to the Aloha State's indigenous peoples. 


Related: The Best of Hawaii on a Budget

Potatoes
luoman/istockphoto

Idaho: Potatoes

We're gonna guess you saw this one coming. Yes, the potato is the Gem State's official vegetable. It also has an official fruit, the huckleberry, a berry that thrives in many national forests in the region.


Related: Celebrate Spuds With 27 Tasty Ways to Cook Potatoes


A wooden bowl of salted popcorn at the old wooden table. Dark background. selective focus
vasiliybudarin/istockphoto

Illinois: Popcorn and More

The Prairie state isn't messing around when it comes to official state foods. It has an official snack food (popcorn), fruit (the GoldRush Apple), vegetable (sweet corn), pie (pumpkin), and grain (corn). 


Related: 50 Ways to Get Creative With Your Popcorn

Homemade Sweet Sugar Cream Pie
bhofack2/istockphoto
The Best Barbecue in Every State
Fudio/istockphoto

Kansas: None

Alas, the Sunflower State is the third in a trifecta of states that have no officially designated foods. It does, however, have a pretty good reputation for barbecue, so we could see that eventually becoming its official state food. 


Related: Bucket List Barbecue in Every State

Blackberry Background
RonBailey/istockphoto

Kentucky: Blackberries

The Bluegrass state has an official fruit, the blackberry, and an official state drink, milk. For what it's worth, it also has a state wild game animal, the gray squirrel, and Kentucky residents have been known to eat a squirrel or two (among other things). 


Related: 27 Restaurants for Wild Game Across America

High angle full frame shot of fresh red strawberries
ndcityscape/istockphoto

Louisiana: Strawberries and More

Louisiana has plenty of culinary things to get excited about — as anyone who's ever visited can attest — and it has a few official state foods. Among them are the Louisiana strawberry as state fruit and the sweet potato as state vegetable, but also a state meat pie (Natchitoches meat pie; recipe here), a state cuisine (gumbo), and two state jellies: Louisiana sugar cane jelly and Mayhaw jelly (made from the berries of the Mayhaw tree). 


Curious to try some of the iconic foods from New Orleans' legendary Commander's Palace? You can order dishes from the restaurant (along with those from many other famous eateries) here.



Full frame of fresh blueberries
alvarez/istockphoto

Maine: Blueberries and More

Maine is another state that has a variety of official state foods, including a state herb, wintergreen, and a state sweetener — pure Maine maple syrup, of course. The Pine Tree State also claims wild blueberry as its state fruit, blueberry pie as its state dessert, and Whoopie pie as its official treat. 


Related: Beyond the Pancake: 15 Maple Syrup Recipes to Try

Hungarian Cake
vinicef/istockphoto

Maryland: Smith Island Cake

Maryland only has one official state food, and it's a cake made in the town of Smith Island on the Chesapeake Bay. With 10 thin layers of cake stacked and frosted with chocolate fudge icing, it's not a simple cake to make, though there are recipes online if you want to try it. If you're not feeling quite that adventurous, Angelina's of Maryland offers one on Goldbelly for $55


Related: 25 Simple Depression-Era Desserts That Actually Are Indulgent

Homemade Chocolate Boston Cream Pie
bhofack2/istockphoto

Massachusetts: Carbs and More Carbs

While some states have one or none when it comes to official state foods, Massachusetts has a whopping six. And Bay Staters apparently aren't afraid of a few carbs, as there's an official muffin (corn), dessert (Boston cream pie, of course), a cookie (the chocolate chip), and even a state doughnut (what else? Boston cream again). Rounding out those four are the state bean, a baked navy bean, and the cranberry as state berry. 


Related: 50 Beloved Hometown Bakeries Across America

Homemade Upper MIchigan Pasty Meat Pie
bhofack2/istockphoto

Michigan: None

Although Michigan doesn't have an official state food, local media site MLive conducted a poll in 2016 asking residents to weigh in on what it should be. The top three choices were cherries, the meat- and root-vegetable-filled baked Cornish pastry simply called a pasty, and — clocking in at No. 1 — the coney dog


Related: Cornish Pasties and Other Savory Pies From Around The World

Mixed rice in bowl
Professor25/istockphoto

Minnesota: Wild Rice and More

The Land of 10,000 Lakes has four official foods, but plays it pretty straight with wild rice, the official state grain, a state mushroom (morel), state muffin (blueberry), and the Honeycrisp apple as its state fruit. 


Related: 20 Cheap and Easy Ways to Use Rice

Making Biscuits
rudisill/istockphoto

Mississippi: None

The Magnolia State doesn't have an official state food. According to the Food Network, which has listed more than a few of the state's "iconic dishes," if Mississippi did choose to name an official state food, it should consider biscuits, soul food, fried okra, and, of course, lots of different types of seafood. 


Related: The Best Seafood Restaurant in Every State

toasting walnuts
cheche22/istockphoto

Missouri: Walnuts and More

The Show Me State passed legislation in 1990 making the eastern black walnut the official state tree nut. It then chose the Cynthiana in 2003 as the state grape, and the ice cream cone in 2008 as the state dessert, noting that the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis was "the birthplace of the treat." 


Related: 20 of the Oldest Ice Cream Shops in America

Huckleberry picking
Silvrshootr/istockphoto

Montana: None

Montana residents are probably too busy marveling at the state's amazing views to worry about official foods, but the state does have an abundance of huckleberries. And we suppose you could count the official state fish, the blackspotted cutthroat trout, as a Treasure State food if you wanted. 

The corn plant in the field
feellife/istockphoto

Nebraska: None

Nebraska does not have any official state foods. If it did, we'd guess it would have to be the one you can already find in its state nickname: The Cornhusker State. It is, after all, the third-highest corn-producing state in the nation, following Iowa and Illinois. 

Shrimp cocktail closeup with blurred cocktail in background
nicolesy/istockphoto

Nevada: None

No official state foods in the Silver State, either. In 2014, however, the Las Vegas Review-Journal published a story on what Nevada's official state food could be and came up with six options that included the shrimp cocktail, the buffet, and onions. Nevada, noted the article, "has around 235,000,000 pounds of onions planted in the state covering over 3,000 acres."


Related: 20 Bucket List Restaurants in Las Vegas

Recently harvested orange pumpkins in a random pile
David_Johnson/istockphoto

New Hampshire: Pumpkins and Potatoes

In terms of official state foods, the Granite State plays it pretty straight with a fruit, pumpkin, and veggie, white potatoes. The latter was designated in 2013 after a Derry Village Elementary School campaign — students at the school learned that an Irish immigrant brought a sack of seed potatoes to the area in 1719, making New Hampshire the first state to cultivate the vegetable.

Blueberries
Kativ/istockphoto

New Jersey: Blueberries

The Garden State has one official state food, a fruit known as the Northern highbush blueberry. In addition to being edible for humans, it's also considered an ornamental plant and is a food source for birds, bears, deer, rabbits, and more. 

easy taco soup, american food
bonchan/istockphoto

New Mexico: Chiles and Frijoles

Way back in 1965, the Sunshine State designated chiles and frijoles — also known as pinto beans — as official state foods. The story goes that legislators debated between the two but ultimately decided that they were inseparable, so they adopted both. New Mexico also has a state cookie, the biscochito, a star-shaped shortbread cookie flavored with anise and cinnamon that dates back to the 16th century.


Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Mexican Restaurant in Every State

Close-up of red royal gala apples
aluxum/istockphoto

New York: Apples and More

The Big Apple State's official state fruit and state muffin are both — surprise — apple. In 2014, New York also designated an official state snack, yogurt. As a news report at the time noted, the decision was preceded by a "lengthy" debate, which apparently included references to the lactose-intolerant, fourth-graders' taste buds, and the seemingly obvious statement that no one would be "compelled to eat particular kinds of yogurt." 


Related: 20 Things You Didn't Know About Apples

Muscadine Fruit Vine at a Vineyard in Warm Springs Georgia
LCBallard/istockphoto

North Carolina: Very Specific Berries

The Tar Heel State has an official veggie, the sweet potato, and fruit, the fun-to-say scuppernong grape. But it doesn't stop there. It also has an official state blue berry — the, um, blueberry — and official state red berry: a strawberry. 

Wild chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) fruit on a branch.
Murphy_Shewchuk/istockphoto

North Dakota: Chokecherry

North Dakota's only official state food is a fruit, the chokecherry. Belonging to the rose family, the berries of this deciduous plant have an acidic taste, but can be made into jelly, syrup, and preserves. 


Related: 16 Jam Recipes to Preserve Fresh Fruit Flavors

Closeup of Three Pawpaws (Wild Edible Fruit) Ripening on Tree in Forest
Jon Kraft/istockphoto

Ohio: Tomatoes and More

Ohio has an official state fruit, the tomato, and native fruit, the papaw, both designated in 2009. If you've never heard of the pawpaw, it comes from a small deciduous tree, and the fruits have a sweet, custard-like taste that's not unlike the tropical flavors of other fruits like pineapple, banana, and mango. 

Oklahoma: A Feast
bhofack2/istockphoto

Oklahoma: A Feast

The Sooner State has a few helpings of official state foods, including a fruit (the strawberry), vegetable (watermelon), and steak (the ribeye). But it also has a belly-busting official state meal, designated in 1988, that includes chicken-fried steak, barbecued pork, fried okra, squash, cornbread, grits, corn, sausage with biscuits and gravy, black-eyed peas, strawberries, and pecan pie. You could wash all that down with a glass of the official state drink — milk — but we're not sure there'd be any room left. 


Related: The Best Spot for Comfort Food in Every State

Freshly Foraged Pacific Golden and Winter Chanterelle Mushrooms, Overhead View
PamelaJoeMcFarlane/istockphoto

Oregon: Plant-Based Foods

Oregon earns its status as being the most consistently vegan state with an array of official state foods that are exclusively plant-based. These include a state nut, the Filbert hazelnut; a state mushroom, the Pacific golden chanterelle; and a state fruit, the pear. 


Related: 30 Vegetable Recipes for People Who Hate Vegetables


Philly Cheesesteak
TheCrimsonMonkey/istockphoto

Pennsylvania: None

If ever there was a state that screamed to have an official food, it's Pennsylvania. The Keystone State, as this article points out, has a long list of foods that were invented or created in the state, including cheesesteak, Hershey's chocolate, the banana split, scrapple, and more. Alas, Pennsylvania has never designated an official state food. 


Related: 17 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Hershey Kisses


Homemade Breaded Fried Calamari
bhofack2/istockphoto

Rhode Island: Squid

Little Rhody has two official foods, a fruit — the Rhode Island Greening Apple — and in 2015 it named calamari as its state appetizer. Not Quahog clams, you might wonder? Nope, As a recent New York Times article points out, Rhode Island's clam industry has struggled in recent years, while the state's "squid industry — valued at about $18 million per year — is the biggest commercial fishery in the state and the most valuable squid fishery in the Northeast."


Related: 20 Amazing Seafood Shacks Across America


Boiled Peanuts
rudisill/istockphoto

South Carolina: Peaches, Peanuts, and More

The Palmetto State has a handful of official state foods, including a state fruit (the peach), state snack food (boiled peanuts), vegetable (collard greens), and a state picnic cuisine, barbecue. 


Related: Go Nuts With These 15 Cheap and Easy Peanut Recipes


Kuchen de manzana
NNehring/istockphoto

South Dakota: Kuchen

Another state that goes all in on the carbs, the Mount Rushmore State has two official state foods. Its dessert is kuchen, which is also the German word for cake, and according to this recipe creator, it's a "rich custard dessert with fruit poured into a sweet dough for the crust." South Dakota also designated an official state bread, frybread, in 2005. 


Related: Babka to Yorkshire Pudding: 25 International Baked Goods to Try at Home


Beefsteak tomato
DavidCoen/istockphoto

Tennessee: Tomatoes

The Volunteer State has only designated the tomato as its official state fruit. As Tennessee Home & Farm pointed out in 2018, the state's tomatoes "run the gamut from hybrids like Early Girl (which ripens early in the season) to heirlooms like Cherokee Purple, (and) other favorites include Beefsteak, Celebrity, Mortgage Lifter, Park’s Whopper, and San Marzano."

Chili
bhofack2/istockphoto

Texas: Chili and More

The saying goes that "everything's bigger" in Texas, and that's certainly true of the Lone Star State's official state foods repertoire, which clocks in at 11, higher than any other state on this list. Texas names chili as its state dish, the Texas red grapefruit as its state fruit, the jalapeño as pepper, the chiltepin as native pepper, sweet onion as state vegetable, the native pecan as state health nut, chips and salsa as state snack, and pumpkin as state squash. Rounding those out are the state bread, cobbler, and pie: pan de campo (a type of flatbread), peach cobbler, and pecan pie, respectively. 


Related: 13 Regional Chili Recipes to Try This Fall

Jell-O Is Made from Horse's Hooves
instamatics/istockphoto

Utah: Jell-O and More

Utah claims the cherry as its state fruit, and the Spanish sweet onion and sugar beet as its state vegetable and "historic" vegetable, respectively — a situation that emerged after "stiff competition" between the two veggies resulted in a compromise naming both. But where the Beehive State gets more creative with its official state snack food: Jell-O. In fact, Utah residents eat more of the wiggly, jiggly stuff than any other state.


Related: 22 Things You Didn't Know About Jell-O 

Apple Cheddar Pie
HG Photography/shutterstock

Vermont: Pie (With Rules)

The Green Mountain State has a state flavor (maple), state fruit, (apple), and a state vegetable (the Gilfeather turnip, a rutabaga-turnip hybrid that isn't as spicy as a regular turnip). It also has a state pie, the apple pie. The 1999 legislation designating the apple pie also noted that "when serving apple pie in Vermont, a 'good faith' effort shall be made" to serve it with a glass of cold milk, a slide of cheddar cheese weighing a half-ounce or more, or a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.

milk pouring into glass
Alter_photo/istockphoto

Virginia: None

Virginia doesn't have an official state food, but it does have an official state beverage. It's milk, a designation it shares with 21 other states. In slightly more exciting news, it also has a state spirit: George Washington Rye Whiskey.


Related: Best Whiskeys Under $50


Sweet onions
BruceBlock/istockphoto

Washington: Apples and More

Washington has a state fruit, the apple, and a vegetable, the Walla Walla sweet onion. It also has a state oyster, the Ostrea lurida, which is the only oyster native to the Pacific Northwest coast. 

Apples
Fudio/istockphoto

West Virginia: Apple

The Mountain State only has one officially designated state food, a fruit. West Virginia chose the apple as the official state fruit in 1972 and then changed the resolution o specify the Golden Delicious in 1995, noting that the state was the birthplace of the variety. Notable, West Virginia's Clay County has held a Golden Delicious Festival every year since 1972. 

Portion of Cheddar
HandmadePictures/istockphoto

Wisconsin: Corn and More

Wisconsin, often called "America's Dairyland," does indeed have an official dairy product and — you guessed it, we're sure — it's cheese. The Badger State also has a state grain (corn), state fruit (cranberry), and a state pastry known as kringle, which you can think of as a sweet, sometimes fruit- or nut-filled variety of Nordic pretzel. 


Related: The Funkiest Cheeses in the World

Beef Jerky
Juanmonino/istockphoto

Wyoming: None

Wyoming doesn't have an official state food, but the folks at a Casper radio station put together a list of "distinctive foods that are completely Wyoming." They ranged from fresh fish, jerky, and sausage gravy to Taco John's and alcoholic slushies. 


Related: The Most Popular Comfort Food in Every State