ALASKA: They don’t call them king crabs for nothing: These prized crustaceans are rare and incredibly dangerous to catch, making king crab legs an expensive delicacy.
CONNECTICUT: While people like to argue about Chicago-style versus New York-style pizza, they’re overlooking New Haven-style pizza, also known as “apizza,” which put the small town on the map.
FLORIDA: Key Lime Pie is believed to have been invented by sponge fishermen in the Keys, who would have condensed milk, eggs, and lime aboard their boats when traveling for long periods of time, and no access to an oven.
ILLINOIS: Despite being highly polarizing (you’re either a New York-style or Chicago-style pizza lover), there’s no doubt that deep-dish pizza, with its thick flour-and-cornmeal crust, is Illinois’ signature dish.
IOWA: Similar to a German schnitzel, Iowa is famous for its pork tenderloin sandwiches, which contain a breaded and fried pork cutlet.
KANSAS: Sample the sticky, cinnamon-crusted rolls from Stroud’s, a homestyle staple in the Breadbasket of America.
LOUISIANA: Po’ boys are sandwiches stuffed with fried catfish, oysters, soft-shell crab, or even gator. Legend has it that they were invented by two restaurant owners and former streetcar conductors in New Orleans who created them to feed their colleagues, who were on a strike against the streetcar company in 1929.
MAINE: Maine is lobster mecca, so savor every succulent bite of a lobster roll, made with a little tangy mayo, and served on a soft hot dog bun.
MARYLAND: You can’t go wrong with anything crab-related in Maryland, famous for the eponymous Maryland crab. Indulge in a tender, buttery crab cake lightly spiced with Old Bay seasoning, a Maryland original blend of herbs and spices.
MASSACHUSETTS: Clam chowder is a New England tradition — American author Joseph C. Lincoln even wrote “The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought for – or on – clam chowder; part of it at least, I am sure it was.” New England clam chowder, sometimes called Boston chowder, unlike its many impostors, is cream-based and full of potatoes — and never, ever tomatoes.
MINNESOTA: The walleye is the state fish, and Minnesota eats more of it than any other state. Enjoy its soft, flaky texture on crispy bread in a walleye sandwich.
MISSOURI: Breaded and deep fried ravioli, known as toasted ravioli, is a popular appetizer in Missouri, where it’s usually served with a side of marinara sauce. A handful of establishments claim to have invented the dish, though most will agree it originated in “the Hill,” the Italian neighborhood of St. Louis, when a ravioli was accidentally dropped in a deep fryer.
MONTANA: Savor a sweet and rich slice of huckleberry pie. The berries are native to high altitudes, like the high mountains of Montana, and make the perfect filling for a decadent pie.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: With over 30 orchards that offer the chance to pick fresh apples, New Hampshire is known for having a delicious apple crisp — apples covered in sugar, cinnamon, oats, and butter. Top it with a scoop of fresh ice cream.
NEW JERSEY: Pork roll (or Taylor ham) is a well-known regional staple in New Jersey and consists of a processed pork product made with a mix of salt, spices, and sugar cure before being smoked and packaged. Try it in a breakfast sandwich with egg and cheese.
OHIO: For those who have a sweet tooth, go for buckeyes — peanut-butter-fudge pieces that are partially dipped in chocolate to resemble the nut of the Ohio buckeye tree.
OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma is a major cattle-ranching state that produces incredibly fresh and tender meat. Chicken-fried steak is a scrumptious, breaded piece of thin and tenderized beefsteak that often comes with sides like fried okra and grits.
TENNESSEE: In Memphis, the city’s succulent pork ribs reign supreme. They can be ordered “wet” (with a tomato-based sauce) or “dry” (with a rub of spices).
VIRGINIA: Virginia ham is a type of country ham — a salt-cured variety of the pork product — that can either be enjoyed on its own or stuffed between two buttery biscuits.
WASHINGTON: Washington is home to succulent sockeye salmon. A favorite dish in the state is cedar-plank salmon, which is smoked and served on the signature wood.