Who knew Kringle, Kool-Aid, and PawPaw fruits were so American?

Arielle Weg
July 27, 2017

Almost every state has a declared state food of some sort. Some seem straightforward, like California's state fruit of avocado, while others seem a little odd. From state declared snack foods, beverages, and record breaking shrimp consumption, we compiled the craziest state food facts you may not even believe. 

Alabama's official bread is cornbread 

It may seem insane, but in 2014 the Alabama House of representatives took the time to vote cornbread as the official bread. This is one of 30 state emblems Alabama holds dear. 

Baked Alaska isn't from Alaska 

The actual origins are a mystery, but it's assumed it has to do with the icy center. 

Arkansas' state beverage is milk

Americans really loves milk. Arkansas considers cow's milk to be the official state drink, among 19 other states who also claim the beverage to be their own. 

Artichokes were declared California's state vegetable under strange circumstances 

The state's lieutenant governor declared the state's official vegetable, fruit, nut, and more while the state governor was away visiting China. If you get the power, we suppose you have to use it somehow. 

Connecticut is known as the Nutmeg State

Though not an official nickname, the state is called the Nutmeg State after colonials carved fake nutmeg out of oak and sold it as the rare and expensive spice. 

Delaware's state herb is the sweet goldenrod 

We figured if a state was going to declare an herb it's official one, it would be something we were familiar with. Sweet goldenrod was established as the official state herb in 1996, and is common in teas. 

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Florida's state beverage is orange juice

Everyone knows Florida is the state for oranges, but who knew they had declared oranges both their state fruit and state beverage? 

Georgia loves their state crop so much, there's a monument

And we're not talking peaches. Georgia's official state crop is the peanut, and the state loves it so much they erected the world's largest peanut, opened a peanut museum, and operate the world's largest peanut shelling plant. 

Idaho potatoes are the official state food and state vegetable

The state declared the famous Idaho potato to hold both titles. 

Illinois' state snack food is popcorn 

The state declared popcorn the official state snack food even though Indiana boasts producing 20% of the country's popcorn supply. 

Iowa has a massive state food-focused fair 

Every year the Iowa State Fair rolls around as the largest state event in Iowa and one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in the country. If you find yourself in Iowa early August, check out the nearly 200 food stands and 70 treats sold on a stick. 

Kentucky's state soft drink is Ale-8-One

The Kentucky born soda still thrives today as the state's official soft drink. You can toss it into tons of recipes, and even purchase apparel with the logo. 

Photo: Steve Lee / Getty

Louisiana is the only state to have not only one but two official jellies

The official state jellies of Louisiana, Mayhaw jelly and Louisiana sugar cane jelly are also a part of the official state meal of North Louisiana. 

Maine's official state soft drink is Moxie 

The slightly bitter beverage is disliked by some, but beloved by enough for it to be the official sot drink of Maine. 

Maryland's state dessert is the Smith Island Cake 

Smith Island Cake doesn't necessarily come to mind when you think Maryland, but the eight to twelve layer yellow cake with chocolate frosting follows the same color scheme of the state bird, insect, flower, and cat. 

Massachusetts' state bean is the baked navy bean

Who knew states could even have an official bean? We guess when you're known as Beantown, it makes sense. 

There's a heated debate about Michigan's state fruit

Both cherries and blueberries were brought to the table as options, and even apples were considered. But the Great Lake State has yet to declare one the winner. 

Minnesota has a state mushroom 

As one of two states that have declared an official state mushroom, Minnesota chose the rare morel mushroom to represent them. 

Photo: John Kernick

Mississippi mud pie is not the official dessert

In fact, Mississippi hasn't declared any state foods. 

Montana tenders main ingredient might surprise you

Short for Montana tendergroins and most commonly known as Rocky Mountain oysters, these fried bits of meat are actually made from animal testicals. They are most often served in the rocky mountain region. 

Nebraska's state soft drink is Kool Aid 

There's a lot of history behind Kool-Aid (which is arguably not a soft drink), but Nebraska drank so much they had to pledge their loyalty officially. 

Nevada eats more shrimp than the rest of America combined

Maybe it's the endless shrimp cocktails in Las Vegas, but the state consumes more than 60,000 pounds of the shellfish every day. 

Some states don't know their fruits from vegetables from legumes 

New Hampshire's official state fruit is a pumpkin, New Jersey's state vegetable is a tomato, and New Mexico's state vegetable is a pinto bean. Pumpkins are (comically) truly a fruit, but last we checked, tomatoes are fruits and pinto beans are legumes. 

New York's official state snack is yogurt

We thought bagels, pizza, or hot dogs would make it to the official New York food list, but yogurt takes the title. 

North Carolina loves red and blue fruits

The state couldn't make a decision, so the official state blue berry was declared as blueberries and the official state red berry as strawberries. 

North Dakota's state fruit is the chokecherry 

Excuse us while we head up to North Dakota to taste test this mysterious state fruit

Ohio's state fruit is PawPaw

Another official state fruit we've never even heard of, and it's the largest edible fruit native to the United States. How patriotic, Ohio. 

Oklahoma's official state meal is a feast

The official meal of Oklahoma consists of fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecued pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, black-eyed peas, and pecan pie. If that doesn't scream Southern cuisine, we don't know what does. 

Oregon is the only state with an official state microbe

Oregon loves their beer so much, they declared brewer's yeast as the official state microbe

Pennsylvania is still debating the official state cookie

The proposed (and generally accepted) official state cookie of Pennsylvania is chocolate chip, but sugar cookies and oatmeal chocolate chip were so close in the running, none of the cookie motions ever passed. 

Bethan Mooney for TIME

Rhode Island's official state drink is coffee milk

The official state drink of milk and coffee syrup is so popular, you can find coffee milk in the dairy aisle next to other flavored milks.

South Dakota's official state bread isn't even bread

Sure, it's called fry bread, but the flat dough is deep fried in oil and served with sweet toppings or taco style. It's more of a carnival treat than your go-to supermarket loaf. 

Texas' state snack is tortilla chips and salsa

Texas has more state foods than we can count (pumpkin, cactus, chili, pecan pie, jalapeno, and more) but our favorite is the Tex-Mex staple chips and salsa. 

Utah's state snack is Jell-o

The state senator hosts "Jell-o with the senator" events in his Washington, D.C. office.  

Vermont has a state flavor

Maple syrup flows like honey throughout the entire state, so it's only fitting the official flavor of Vermont is maple. 

Wisconsin's official state pastry is the Kringle 

The Kringle comes from Danish immigrants who flocked to Wisconsin, deeming Wisconsin the Kringle Capital of the World.