Do you classify yourself as an adventurous eater, a connoisseur of elegant dining, or will you try anything offered up as a challenge? What is the definition of an adventurous eater? Consider when babies transition to food; they’ll try anything put in their little mouths. After viewing the number of poor little unsuspecting kids tasting lemons for the first time, it’s no wonder they develop a pickiness that follows them for years. However, at some point, most people are open to new dishes – some more open than most. Depending on where you’re from, each state has one or more unique foods that may be common to natives but bizarre, or even gag-worthy, to others. If you grew up eating any of these, more power to you. Here goes in no particular order…
Alaska has many places that travelers dream of visiting. If you get a chance to go there, are you brave enough to try Akutag (also known as Eskimo Ice Cream)? The original recipe consisted of seal or animal fat and whatever wild berries were on-hand. Today’s version adds milk and sugar. Not sure “yum” is the right adjective for this dish.
Arkansas has its own unique dish – buffalo ribs. No, there’s no meat in this; it’s a fish, a buffalo fish. A freshwater fish, it gets its name from its size ranging from 39 pounds to a record catch of 62 pounds. Or, you can forget the protein and order a plate of chocolate gravy and biscuits.
Illinois has its own version of gravy, in the form of gravy bread. This is not a sandwich; it’s just bread dipped in a spicy beef sauce. Or, if visiting the state fair, try a strip of chocolate-covered bacon with sprinkles (of course).
How about a brain sandwich from Indiana? Made of pig brains breaded and fried. Or, try fried sauerkraut balls at the state fair.
Massachusetts offers up marshmallow fluff in its famous fluffernutter sandwich. Slather marshmallow fluff with peanut butter onto white bread for a gooey, globby mess of a sandwich.
Traveling through Mississippi? Try a meal with a side of Koolicle; it’s a pickle soaked in Kool-Aid.
Continuing the pickle dishes, Minnesota has a sandwich known as a pickle dog. It consists of a pickle covered in sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing, all wrapped up in a thick slice of roast beef. Try another favorite, deep-fried cheese curds.
Ohio has a couple of native dishes worth trying. Cincinnati chili five-way is a unique combination of spaghetti covered with chili and then loaded down with cheese, beans and onions. Actually, there’s a scale for this dish – the two-way version consists of spaghetti and chili, three-way adds cheese to the mix, four-way piles on the onions and then the ultimate, five-way version with beans added to everything else. For a different breakfast meat, try Goetta, a mash-up of ground pork or beef with grain, oatmeal and spices. Fried up crispy and served on the side with eggs.
In Rhode Island, try the chop suey sandwich which is just what it sounds like – chop suey between two slices of bread.
In Tennessee, you gotta’ try Elvis’ favorite sandwich – fried peanut butter, bacon and banana.
And finally, probably the most artery-clogging dish of them all. Found at the Texas state fair, try if you can stand it fried butter. To make it, freeze a slab of butter, wrap it in biscuit dough and fry.
Thinking about trying any of these yourself? After reading through these dishes, doesn’t a nice green salad sound good? Yep, thought so!