With so many cuisines and world influences, America's culinary history ranges from Alaskan salmon and Idaho potatoes to Boston cream pie and Tennessee barbecue.
There really is no straightforward American cuisine. The south brings meaty barbecue, Mexican influences, and Gulf Coast goodies, the West serves California's creamiest avocados and Pacific salmon, and the whole country is overflowing with global influence from immigrants. To celebrate each and every cuisine, below are 50 recipes to represent the 50 states:
The Alabama Lane cake originated from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, and has become a true symbol of Southern culture. An Alabama native won an 1898 county fair baking competition with the recipe, and now the layered cake is the state's official dessert.
As the official state fish of Alaska, the king salmon is one of the highest quality salmon varieties on the market.
The apache trout is native to the state of Arizona and is the official state fish. The white fish has a mild flavor, and tastes perfect cooked in a crunchy batter.
Pecans are a signature staple of American cuisine, and are especially popular in the south. They are the official state nut of Arkansas, Alabama, and Texas, though Arkansas is specifically known for pecan production.
Considering the hefty price and a short life span, avocados have taken America by storm. Californians in particular love the creamy fruit, and the government declared avocados the state's official fruit in 2013.
There's no state food in the mountainous state, but there is an official state cactus. The claret cup cactus takes the title, and the plant gives some true Southwest flavor to slaws and Tex-Mex dishes.
The Eastern Oyster holds the role of Connecticut's official state shellfish. There are so many ways to enjoy the seafood, but pan-frying has a special place in our heart.
When you think peaches, your mind probably goes to Georgia. But Delaware has a soft spot for peaches too, making peach pie the official state dessert.
Travel to Key West and you'll have key lime pie so sweet and silky, you won't ever consider ordering anything else. The staple is Florida's official state dessert, with a light yellow color instead of a green hue from food coloring.
Originally a Native American staple, grits can be found all over the south and were established as Georgia's state prepared dish. We love them sweet or savory, but nothing quite compares to an old school shrimp and grits plate.
View Recipe: Lowcountry Srimp and Grits
Hawaii doesn't have any state declared foods, but rumor has it that coconut muffins are the hottest bakery item on the island. We love the tropical flair coconuts bring to the palate, and you can jazz it up with coconut icing or glaze.
The Idaho potato is a lightly starchy, versatile ingredient. We love to toss it into potato salads, soups, or eat it simply baked with some fun toppings.
Skip the deep dish pizza pie, and enjoy Illinois' state pie the pumpkin pie. About 85% of all pumpkin Americans enjoy come from this Midwestern gem, and we encourage baking pumpkin pies beyond Thanksgiving dinner.
The sugar cream pie has become such a staple in Indiana, many refer to the official state pie as a Hoosier pie. Made with simple ingredients like sugar, cream, and flour, the pie is said to have originated by Amish cooks in the 1800's.
Iowa takes food on a stick to a whole new level. The Iowa state fair is known as the largest state event in Iowa, and from the 200 food stands on display you can purchase 70 items to eat off of a stick.
The center of America screams barbecue, but especially barbecued pork. Kansas encompasses all things southern and delicious, like our take on pork tenderloin.
Celebrate Kentucky's official state berry, the blackberry, with a creative twist to your morning routine. Sure, you could bake the berry into a pie, but we like this simple route a little bit more.
If you've ever made it to the boot shaped state of Louisiana, there's no doubt you tried a beignet. The official state donut is perfect in powdered sugar and brings Louisiana back to its French roots.
Maine's blueberries are pure magic. Throw them into a buttery pie crust and you get the state's official dessert: blueberry pie.
Blue crabs are freshest from Maryland waters, so it's only fitting the official state food of Maryland is crab. Smother crab cakes in hollandaise for a play on eggs benedict, or fry them up and enjoy them sandwich style.
The Northeast loves Boston cream so much, they declared Boston cream donuts the official state donut and Boston cream pie the official state dessert. We love the cool and creamy filling too.
The official state game animal of Michigan is the whitetail deer, so we assume they're cooking up quite a bit of the meat. Though venison isn't super popular throughout the states, it has a similar flavor profile to beef tenderloin.
Inspired by a third grade class' request, blueberry muffins are the official state muffin of Minnesota. The berry grows wild in Minnesota fields, and is a popular treat throughout the state.
Mississippi mud pie isn't an official state dessert, but it's definitely associated with the Southern state. With more chocolate than anyone should have in one sitting, a slice will be something to remember.
One of three states to declare an official state grape, the Norton grape is used for wine and as a locally grown sweet fruit.
Similar to blueberries, huckleberries grow in abundance in the chilly state. Though there aren't any state fruits in Montana, most locals find themselves enjoying these berries straight or in baked goods.
Catfish normally comes crispy, fried, and from a Southern style barbecue joint, but Nebraska has declared it their official state fish. Try it pan fried and lightly spiced, for a more delicate flavor.
The official state animal of Nevada is none other than the desert bighorn sheep. With such an abundance of sheep, we bet they're cooking up some fresh leg of lamb for dinner.
Fresh apple orchards are all over the state, so the official state beverage of New Hampshire is none other than apple cider. Mix up a refreshing drink with apple cider and pale ale beer
The Garden State has more farms than you would expect. Blueberries in particular are held dear as the state's official fruit.
Everywhere you turn in New Mexico, you'll find the official state cookie Biscochito. The sweet cinnamon biscuit is typically made with traditional lard and is an old recipe with roots in Spain.
The big apple takes its name so seriously, the apple muffin was declared the official state muffin.
The chokecherry is the official state fruit of North Dakota, and it has us curious what the fruit even tastes like. If you can get your hands on the mystery fruit, swap it into your favorite cherry recipe.
The official state beverage of Ohio is tomato juice, but kick it up a notch by adding spice and liquor for an eye opening Bloody Mary.
Watermelon is the surprising official state vegetable of Oklahoma, so we figured we would take the sweet melon to the savory side.
Hazelnuts hold the title of official state nut in Oregon, and when we see hazelnuts we think about mixing it with cocoa for choclatey goodness.
Philly cheese steaks and Hershey's chocolate are Pennsylvania's pride and joy, but the chocolate chip cookie is the highest contender for the official title of state cookie. There's some debate over who will take the name, and sugar cookie and oatmeal chocolate chip are still in the running.
As the only state with an official state appetizer, calamari is definitely something to order when visiting the coastal state.
As the state with the second highest collard greens production, they became South Carolina's official state vegetable. This veggie is often stewed with southern classics like bacon or on the side of barbecued pork.
The German dessert Kuchen is the official state dessert of South Dakota, celebrating the German heritage in the area. It's a versatile dessert that's a little fruity and a little cake-like, so we picked our favorite.
Tennessee loves their B's; bacon, barbecue, burgers, and bourbon. That's why we love our Tennessee burger when we want to feel like taking a culinary trip to Nashville.
The state that does everything bigger and better has tons of state declared foods, but a good Texas chili really takes the cake as one of the many official state dishes. Serve with chips for quality dipping, and whatever toppings you please.
Spanish sweet onion takes the title as Utah's state vegetable, but the sugar beet is known as Utah's official state historic vegetable.
Order Vermont's official state pie, the apple pie, and it's almost always served with a glass of milk, vanilla ice cream, or a hunk of cheddar cheese.
Maple isn't the first thing you think of when you think Virginia, but the state has held a maple festival for the last 60 years. The syrupy substance is fantastic with fruit and nuts in the fall.
The ultimate caffeine rivalry is the one between Starbucks and Seattle's Best Coffee. Celebrate Washington state with anything coffee related, and you can choose the brand.
Honey crisp apples are so delicious, West Virginia changed apples as their state fruit to specify golden delicious apples as the official state fruit. The variety holds their shape well in baked goods, and are a little extra sweet.
It's Thanksgiving year round in Wisconsin, because their official state fruit is the cranberry. The tart fruit is definitely worth enjoying throughout the fall, and not just for the holiday.
The American buffalo runs wild in Wyoming, and the furry giant is the state's official state mammal. Bison is especially popular for dinner up north, and we picked our favorite way to eat it: burger style.