50 States of Must-Try Food
From Alabama to Wyoming, here are the dishes that most-define every state in the United States.
Don’t just settle for the same dish wherever you go: Each state is packed with iconic local flavors that share its history and define its geography. Whether you’re craving Alabama barbecue, Alaskan seafood or a deep-fried favorite in Arizona, here are the dishes you have to try in every state, and the best places to find them.
1 . Alabama: Chicken and White Barbecue Sauce
Barbecue sauce takes many forms within Alabama. But the state’s unique contribution to the art form is a creamy, mayonnaise-based white sauce served over smoked chicken. If you’ve never heard of it, you’re not alone: A huge number of red sauces are available at most Southern grocery stores, but white sauce is rarely found outside Alabama. Bob Gibson, the founder of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, is credited with having invented white sauce back in 1925, and his original Decatur location has been making it ever since.
2.Alaska: King Crab
Bisques, cakes, rolls, legs, buckets, clusters and combos: Alaskans love their crab. At Tracy’s King Crab Shack in Juneau, Bering Sea king crab is the star. Tracy’s crab cakes come with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce; a bucket holds half of a king crab plus a killer claw. They also boast the “best legs in town.”
3 . Arizona: Chimichangas
One day in the mid-1950s, El Charro Café’s founding chef, Monica Flyn, accidentally invented the chimichanga when she dropped a burro (a big burrito) into the deep fryer. On that day a legend was born. Now, the crisped, packed dish is available at the Tucson and Oro Valley restaurants in sizes from the bite-size mini to their supersized USA Today chimi, which is about the size of a rolled-up newspaper, full of chicken, beef, shrimp, vegetarian beans or carnitas