Have you ever had the good fortune of traveling from coast to coast across the states? If not then you are missing out on some pretty great grub! In fact, the types of cuisine that are big hits can vary from state to state, region to region. I did a little digging to find out exactly what dishes are the most popular in each part of the country in the hopes that one day I can try them for myself.
West Coast Cuisine
The West Coast generally includes California, Washington State, Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii. The popular cuisines that come from here are some of the most unique in the country, and they are easily distinguishable in other states.
Avocado toast is a big deal in the western states. This is simply toasted bread with creamy avocado spread over it. In order to make this a really great dish you must choose good avocados. They can’t be too ripe as this will cause a mushy or stringy consistency. Once you have chosen your avocados then you can either slice them for your toast or mash them. Salt the avocado to bring out the best flavor profile. The bread that you choose for the toast must be sturdy such as whole grain. The final step (should you decide to use it) is to really take avocado toast to the next level! You can do this by adding any combination of ingredients that you desire, but here are some suggestions:
Fish tacos are another west coast staple. The fish is often a light fish fillet such as cod. The fish can be beer-battered and fried or bare and baked. Once you have the fish done you simply place it in the flour tortilla. Finally, you top it with a white sauce or Baja sauce, and shredded cabbage. Of course there are other toppings that are common on fish tacos including:
- Pico de gallo
- Hot sauce
While these are two of the favorites on the West Coast there are many more worth sinking your teeth into such as:
- Korean BBQ
- Shave Ice
- Reindeer Sausage
The Midwestern states are often known for their corn crops and tornadoes. These states include North and South Dakota, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, and Michigan. The cuisines found here are sometimes thought of as “picnic food”.
Bread Pudding is a common dessert in the Midwest. It can be made with few ingredients but it will not lack flavor! The “bread” part of the bread pudding is challah bread. This is a soft and fluffy type of braided bread that is perfect for this particular cuisine.
Deviled Eggs are one of the easiest side dishes you can make and they are perfect for picnics and family reunions. The only real cooking involved is hard boiling the eggs. Once they are cooked through you can deshell them, cut them in half, and add the mayonnaise/mustard/yolk mixtures to the white centers. The final step is to top them with paprika. Feel free to add other toppings to take them up a notch such as chives or bacon bits.
Other Midwestern cuisines that are a smash include:
- Corn on the cob
- Midwestern chili
- Green bean casserole
- Pork chops
- Caramel corn
Eastern Coast Cuisines
The East Coast states include Maine, New York, all of New England, and Pennsylvania. The cuisines that you will inevitably find here are a wide range of seafood and pub food.
The Lobster roll is commonly found in New England and even Canada. This dish starts with a hot dog roll, typically grilled and then stuffed with lobster, lettuce, hot sauce, and greens.
Buffalo wings are a huge staple in my home state of New York. They originated in, you guessed it, Buffalo, NY. Buffalo wings are fried chicken wings slathered in our buffalo sauce which is typically Frank’s.
Other popular dishes on the East Coast include:
- Clam chowder
- Apple crisp
- Philly cheesesteaks
The southern states are known for their bbq spaghetti, biscuits and gravy, and their fried green tomatoes. Whereas the northern states are known for their pork roll, Stromboli, and Utica greens.
Now I’m off to win the lottery so I can do nothing but travel and try each dish from coast to coast!