The Favorite Comfort Food From Each State

When it comes to classic American comfort foods, you might think we all grew up loving the same kinds of stuff: ooey gooey mac and cheese; savory, juicy homemade meatloaf; decadent mashed potatoes with hot brown gravy. But as much as those kinds of comforting staples can automatically start your mouth watering, it's worth remembering that they aren't the only comfort foods out there!

The U.S. is home to so many varied individuals from different regions and cultural backgrounds. This spectacular depth and diversity are also major parts of what makes the country so great — especially when it comes to food. The U.S. has been fortunate enough to develop an amazing culinary scene filled with countless regional favorites and classic region-specific recipes. These comfort foods may be incredibly familiar to one area and completely foreign to another. And because they're so unique and distinctive to specific regions, it also means that these regional favorites are worth identifying and celebrating — not just so you remember them but so that others can search them out and try them as well!

So what regional comfort food defines your state? What classic meal brings back a flood of childhood memories, nostalgia, warmth, and security? What food can you eat that will immediately make you feel happier and reconnect you with the best days from your past? Read on to see if your favorite made our list. And then order some for an amazing evening of comfort-fueled memories, recollection, and re-connection.

Alabama: Fried green tomatoes

Made from thick, chunky slices of fresh green tomato that have been dipped in egg and flour or cornmeal and then fried to golden perfection, fried green tomatoes are the epitome of classic Southern cooking. While the dish may have started as a way to use up out-of-control supplies of unripe tomatoes before they could spoil, it has grown into a staple of Alabama home cooking and hospitality. Tangy and savory with a satisfying crunch in every bite, these Montgomery faves only get better when dipped in a bit of remoulade or spicy mayonnaise.

Alaska: King crab legs

In and around Juneau and throughout the Frontier State, king crab legs are a favorite regardless of whether they've been boiled, grilled, steamed, or baked. Tender, sweet, and succulent on their own and only better when dipped in a vat of butter, the king crab has come to serve as a symbol of Alaska's resilience and tenacity in an unforgiving environment. Harvested in abundance in the cold waters of the Bering Sea, this prized delicacy is especially treasured by locals who get to enjoy it at its freshest and most flavorful in-season peak.

Arizona: Chimichangas

Said to be the accidental creation of a chef who dropped a prepared burrito into a hot fryer, chimichangas are made from grilled tortillas that have been filled with traditional ingredients ranging from shredded chicken to beef to pork and are then rolled up like a burrito and deep-fried until golden brown. An Arizona favorite, they provide everything you could want in a classic comfort food: satisfying crunch, hot savory filling, and mouth-watering toppings like sour cream, hot sauce, and guacamole. What's not to love, even if you're not from the home of the Grand Canyon?

Arkansas: Chicken and dumplings

Like a souped up version of traditional chicken and noodles, chicken and dumplings take everything we love about the classic cold remedy and make it even more delicious. Created in the Appalachian region, the hearty soup is typically made from a biscuit-like mixture of flour, baking powder, salt, and milk — the dumpling — which is then dropped into a pot with hot broth and chicken and cooked until doughy, like a noodle. Once a staple for lower-income families, the dish has since become a favorite throughout the state, including some of Little Rock's most high-end restaurants.

California: Fish tacos

When you think California cuisine, fish tacos likely come to mind. And for good reason! The battered and fried chunks of cod, halibut, or tilapia served in a warm tortilla and topped with greens, tomato, onion, and lime juice epitomize everything fresh and sunny and ocean-packed that there is to love about the Golden State. An early example of California's farm-to-table ethos, fish tacos even got their start in the state! They were created by street vendors working along the Baja coast in the 1950s who wanted a delicious, portable way to sell their catch of the day.

Colorado: Green chili

In and around the Rockies, people from Colorado are often called "Greenies." The nickname is said to be due to the state's distinctive green license plates. But there's another reason to call Colorado locals "greenies" as well — their love of chili verde or green chili. A popular dish first dreamt up by visiting Spanish settlers, green chili is a slow-cooked mixture of pork or chicken plus green chilies, potatoes, beans, or tomatoes. It's a hearty, spicy, and slightly sweet stew that's perfect for the state's outdoor active lifestyle and brisk, unpredictable — and often chilly — weather.

Connecticut: Steamed cheeseburgers

The beloved hamburger — and all its bacon and cheese-covered variations — already holds a place in the comfort food hall of fame. But swap out that frying for some perfectly placed steam, and you wind up with something even more iconic, especially if you happen to live in Connecticut, home to the first steamed cheeseburger. Created a half century ago in the small town of Meriden, steamed cheeseburgers take everything you already love about regular burgers and make them better. They're juicier, the cheese is meltier, and the bun is even more moist and delicious. Yum.

Delaware: Slippery Dumplings

Like Arkansas' favorite chicken and dumplings, Delaware's slippery dumplings are another wildly popular regional variation on the beloved staple chicken and noodles. In this case, the dish originated with the Pennsylvania Dutch, who also settled parts of Delaware. And those slippery dumplings they brought with them? They're a lot like traditional noodles but also chewier and more satisfying, thanks to their jumbo size. Because of their thickness, slippery noodles also tend to soak up all the flavors of the chicken broth they're cooked in, creating a delicious combo of savory and slightly sweet flavors in every bite.

Florida: Key lime pie

Believed by many to have been created in the Florida Keys in the mid-1890s by a woman known only as "Aunt Sally," key lime pie is a classic comfort food dessert loved for its unique mixture of tangy, creamy, and sweet flavors. The pie typically consists of a graham cracker crust that is filled with a mixture of sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, and egg yolks and then baked until set. It's then topped with lush whipped cream or frothy meringue, making it the perfect relaxing refresher for those muggy coastal Florida summer afternoons.

Georgia: Peach pie

Not to be outdone by its neighbor to the east, Georgia too chooses pie as its favorite comfort food of choice. Only in this case, it's a pie that pairs perfectly with the state's official moniker — the peach pie! Made with fresh, juicy peaches that are baked between two layers of flaky golden crust, peach pies have become ubiquitous within this state to some of the nation's top peach farms. A staple of Georgia cuisine, the dessert is the go-to option for countless family gatherings and picnics where everyone clamors for a slice of the peachy goodness.

Hawaii: Poke bowl

A staple in Hawaiian culture for centuries, poke bowls exploded in popularity across the mainland in the last few years. But if you want good, authentic — comforting — poke, you have to go back to where the dish first started. A typical poke bowl consists of diced raw fish such as ahi tuna, soy sauce, sesame oil, onions, and seaweed served over white rice. And take a tip from the locals: You don't have to go fancy to get good poke! Some of the island's best comes from casual on-the-go settings like gas stations and convenience stores. 

Idaho: Finger steaks

Idaho may be known as the potato state. But when it comes to comfort foods, its residents choose beef all the way! A half century or so back, as legend goes, a chef in Boise started serving up finger-sized strips of breaded, battered, deep-fried top round steak — and a regional favorite was born! Finger steaks have been popular throughout the state ever since. Typically served with a side of cocktail sauce, these crispy, tender shards of beef are salty and savory on the outside and moist and juicy inside — perfect for a quick snack or a full-on meal. 

Illinois: Chicago-style pizza

Ever heard the term "pizza pie?" If so, then you might have been talking to someone from Illinois where the Chicago-style pizza — it's so dense with ingredients you eat it with a fork and knife like a pie — reigns supreme. The ultimate deep-dish treat, Chicago-style pizzas were created as an alternate to trendy thin-crust pizzas of the 1940s. They typically consist of a thick, buttery crust, tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings, including a selection of sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers, served in thick swaths, almost like a savory Italian layer cake. Delish!

Indiana: Breaded pork tenderloin sandwich

The European nation of Austria and the state of Indiana may not appear to have much in common at first glance. But if you dig a little deeper, you'll find some surprising similarities. They're both around the same size. They're both in the 'heart" of their respective regions. And the populations of both love tenderloin sandwiches! In Austria, it's the veal Wiener Schnitzel. And the comfort food of choice in Indiana is the pork tenderloin sandwich — a slab of luscious pork tenderloin thinly pounded, breaded, and served on a billowy bun. Talk about comfort!

Iowa: Sweet corn

Grill it. Boil it. Steam it, or oven-roast it. It doesn't matter how you prepare these golden ears — folks in Iowa can't get enough of the ever-popular summer staple: sweet corn. The comfort food of choice in the Hawkeye state, Iowa is the largest producer of corn in the nation and the home to some of the most incredible, fresh sweet corn you may ever get a chance to gnaw off the cob. Shuck it from that leafy green husk, cook until tender, douse it in butter, and let your taste buds soar.

Kansas: Burnt ends

It's hard to imagine, but there was once a time when barbecue pitmasters cut off the ends of the brisket they cooked to perfection and threw them away, thinking no one would want them because they were "burnt." Oh, how wrong they were! These misguided meatheads eventually caught on to the error of their ways, and burnt ends — the rich, smoky, and crisp yet juicy tips of barbecued brisket — have become the star of the show ever since. In Kansas City in particular, home to great barbecue, burnt ends are the comfort food of choice for many! 

Kentucky: Hot brown sandwich

The Hot Brown sandwich is a late-night snack turned comfort food classic. Created by Fred K. Schmidt, a chef at Louisville's Brown Hotel in the 1920s,  the dish was originally intended to feed out-of-town guests and locals who had danced in the hotel's ballroom until the wee hours. Rather than serving what he considered to be a boring plate of ham and eggs, Schmidt dreamt up an open-faced sandwich of turkey, bacon, and cheesy Mornay sauce, which he then baked and served hot. The sandwich was an immediate hit and has been quenching Kentucky cravings ever since.

Louisiana: Jambalaya

No dish says Louisiana more than jambalaya. And no comfort food is more requested or desired in and around the Pelican State than this hearty and flavorful one-pot rice dish. A centuries-old pairing of Spanish paella plus French and African culinary traditions and cooking techniques, jambalaya usually includes a selection of meat (chicken, sausage, or shrimp), vegetables (onions, peppers, and celery), and spices (such as cayenne, thyme, and bay leaves), all simmered together with rice in a tomato-based broth. It's a savory and slightly sweet entrée with a subtle kick of heat that Louisianans can't help but crave.

Maine: Lobster roll

Prior to the 1800s, lobster was considered a poor man's food and in such low demand that farmers used these so-called cockroaches of the sea to fertilize their fields. But oh how things have changed. Today, lobster is a high-end entrée, and something nobody loves more than the folks living in Maine. As the largest lobster-producing state in the nation, Maine-iacs know a thing or two about preparing in-demand seafood, and they can't get enough of the lobster roll — chunks of fresh lobster mixed with mayo and served atop a buttery, toasted bun. It's a comfort food classic!

Maryland: Crab cakes

Like the lobster roll, crab cakes are another dish inspired by a regional abundance of seafood — in this case, Maryland and the state's incredible blue crabs. Considered a cousin of England's iconic fish cake, a classic Maryland crab cake usually includes fresh lump crab meat, mayonnaise, bread crumbs, Old Bay seasoning, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. These ingredients are mixed together and shaped into patties that are then fried or broiled until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. It's a dish so popular that locals have been scarfing it down for nearly a century!

Massachusetts: Clam chowder

Another East Coast state, another perfect seafood-inspired comfort dish! This time, it's clam chowder, the comfort food of choice throughout the state of Massachusetts. This simple yet hearty soup, which combines chopped clams, potatoes, onions, bacon, and either milk or cream, has been uber-popular throughout the Bay State since at least the 18th century. In fact, America's oldest restaurant — The Union Oyster House in Boston — has been serving the soup consistently on its menu since the place first opened up way back in 1826. Now that's a comfort food that brings back memories!

Michigan: Coney dog

How does a Coney Island-inspired hot dog end up the comfort food of choice in Michigan? Thank a number of ingenious Greek immigrants who were inspired by the hot dogs they ate in Brooklyn (after entering the U.S. at Ellis Island) and took that idea west to their new homes. Numerous Coney Island-style restaurants popped up throughout Detroit in the early 1900s — some are still in operation today. The star of their menu? The classic coney — a beef hot dog topped with all-meat chili, yellow mustard, and diced onions and served in a warm, steamed bun. Fuhgeddaboudit!

Minnesota: Juicy Lucy

What could be better than a classic all-beef cheeseburger? Well, if you were a teenager growing up in Minnesota in the 1950s, or you've ever lived in the state since then, your answer has got to be the Juicy Lucy! A beloved Minnesota delicacy, the Juicy Lucy is a rich, savory beef burger stuffed with cheese. And as that burger cooks, that cheese melts into a molten core of golden gooey goodness just waiting for you to bite into. Out-of-towners may add onions, pickles, or bacon, but locals keep it simple and let their Lucy shine.

Mississippi: Po' boy

As legend has it, the po' boy got its start when a pair of former streetcar conductors turned restaurateurs and opened a popular eatery. Inspired by their success, the men sometimes handed out free sandwiches to folks who were down on their luck to help keep their spirits up. The sandwiches varied considerably — some had roast beef, some contained chicken fingers, and some packed fried seafood. But they all had one thing in common: They were served on a French-style baguette they called po' boy bread. The name stuck, and Mississippians are still clamoring for the sandwich even now. 

Missouri: Toasted ravioli

Toasted ravioli is another incredible chef blunder that has gone on to become a comfort food classic. The story here is a simple one: A tired (and perhaps drunken) Missouri chef was rushing to finish an order he was working on when he accidentally dropped a few large ravioli in hot oil instead of boiling water. The restaurant's owner tried to salvage them with some Parmesan, and everyone loved them. Soon, these toasted ravioli were popping up throughout St. Louis. And they've only gained in popularity across the nation, and in The Show-Me State in particular, since then. 

Montana: Fry bread tacos

Few things are more decadent or delicious than fried bread. Unless, of course, you take that fried bread and top it with even more deliciousness in the form of spicy seasoned ground beef, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, and sour cream. No wonder the fry bread taco is such a favored comfort staple. A classic Native American dish that's been popular in Montana for generations, fry bread tacos take everything there is to love about Mexican food and elevate it with the warm, yeasty, crisp bite you only get from fresh baked bread. It's a must try!

Nebraska: The runza sandwich

The run-what? If you haven't spent a lot of time in Nebraska, then this pastry-like sandwich may be a mystery. But for any true Cornhusker, there's no debating the incredible appeal of the runza. Believed to have been brought to the state in the late 1800s by German and Russian immigrants, a typical runza consists of savory pastry dough that's stuffed with ground beef, onions, and cabbage and then baked to a crispy, golden brown. The regional delicacy is so popular that it's even inspired a fast food chain — Runza — which operates almost exclusively within the state.

Nevada: Prime rib

Maybe it's Nevada's link to all those famous 19th century cattle drives. Maybe it's because Las Vegas was home to the first ever "all-you-can-eat" buffet where prime rib was a main attraction. Maybe it's the famous roaming "Prime Rib Cart" at Lawry's The Prime Rib in Las Vegas, which carves and serves up slice after slice of succulent prime rib tableside. Whatever the reason, when it comes to comfort food in Nevada, nothing gets more love in America's entertainment and casino mecca than tender, juicy prime rib. Even for locals, this beef is worth the gamble. 

New Hampshire: Pancakes and maple syrup

As we've seen, comfort foods often blossom in regions where ingredients are in the greatest supply. So what do locals in New Hampshire — one of the nation's leaders in the production of maple syrup — flock to when looking for a taste of home? Maple syrup, of course! And what goes better with a kick of maple than a mountain of pillowy soft, warm, buttery pancakes? And they're not just for breakfast. Throw some bacon or sausage on the plate to sop up that syrup, and you've got a classic comfort meal for any hour.

New Jersey: Pork roll sandwich

Depending on where you grew up in Jersey, you may call the state's official sandwich a pork roll or you might call it a Taylor ham — but however your order it, the ingredients are the same: slices of processed, smoked pork roll ham that's pan-fried until crispy and then topped with egg and cheese and placed between two slices of a Kaiser roll (or a sliced bagel if you're fancy). It's simple. It's affordable. It's versatile — it works for every meal. And for folks living in the Garden State, nothing tastes more like home. 

New Mexico: Albondigas soup

New Mexico is known as the "Land of Enchantment," and when you look at the foods the state is known for, it's easy to see where that name comes from. One of the most popular of all comfort foods in New Mexico is what's known as Albondigas or Mexican meatball soup. Imagine a sea of homemade beef and pork meatballs swimming in a zesty tomato broth with some added chunks of carrots, potato, and zucchini, and you have a pretty good idea just why this dish is so widely loved across the state. Talk about comfort!

New York: Buffalo wings

Most popular things that come from New York state get their start in the Big Apple. But did you know that this classic comfort food actually originated in a town about six hours away from Manhattan? That's right! Buffalo wings were created in Buffalo, New York, at the Anchor Bar, which is still in operation today. These crispy fried wings are doused in a tangy, spicy sauce and served up with a side of blue cheese dressing — plus celery! They remain a favorite across the Empire State even now, nearly 60 years later.

North Carolina: Carolina Pulled Pork

Few culinary dishes pack more beauty than a giant piece of pork shoulder slow-cooking over fiery coals. The hours-long process infuses the meat with rich, smoky flavor while also breaking it down until it's melt-in-your-mouth tender. When it's done, pull it apart to serve it, and you've got Carolina pulled pork, a comfort food favorite across the Tar Heel State. The only thing left to debate? Do you top it with the vinegar-based sauce popular in the Eastern part of the state or the tomato-based sauce popular in the west? Choices, choices, choices!

North Dakota: Chippers (chocolate-coated potato chips)

Leave it to the folks in North Dakota — one of the nation's leading producers of potatoes — to figure out the ideal way to make an already craveable potato even more delicious. All you have to do is dip your chips in chocolate, of course. On paper, the combination of potato and cocoa sounds unsettling. But in reality, that unique marriage of salty and sweet is an ideal union. And this is one treat you don't have to live in North Dakota to experience — just melt some chocolate and add a chip. It's that simple. 

Ohio: Buckeyes

From one chocolaty dessert classic to another, the buckeye is Ohio's entry for the list of comfort foods you have to try at least once in your life. This candy confection consists of a ball of peanut butter and sugar dough that's been dipped in chocolate and then chilled until firm. The name for the candy comes from the state's official tree, which produces a similar-looking nut that is mostly dark brown with a speck of lighter brown that is said to resemble the eye of a deer (or buck). Clever! And pretty darn tasty.

Oklahoma: Chicken fried steak

Like Indiana's breaded pork tenderloin sandwich, Oklahoma's comfort food of choice also draws inspiration from the classic Austrian dish Wiener Schnitzel. Only in this case, the protein in question is a breaded piece of steak. And instead of eating it between two pieces of bread, the classic chicken fried steak is typically served next to a mound of mashed potatoes and topped with a rich, savory gravy. It's the perfect down-home traditional meal for one of the states that leads the nation in beef production. Simple. Classic. And out-of-this-world delicious. 

Oregon: Dungeness crab

Named after the Pacific Coast town known as Dungeness where it was first harvested commercially, Dungeness crab has been a staple of the Oregon culinary landscape for decades. The popular and highly-in-demand crustacean also plays a huge role in the local fishing industry. And for good reason! As fresh seafood goes, it's among the best you can eat. Sweet, delicate, and slightly nutty flavored, the meat from the crab is tender and moist and perfect with just a slight hit of butter or freshly squeezed lemon. No wonder it's a state fave.

Pennsylvania: Scrapple

In Pennsylvania, the comfort food of choice has taken an unexpected approach to gaining mass popularity. Here, the comfort food most people in the state can't get enough of combines bits of ham, bacon, sausage, and other unwanted pork scraps plus cornmeal and spices to make something altogether new and unique: scrapple! Cut into slices and fried up with breakfast or cubed and added to omelets, soup, or stew, scrapple is a meat product you have to try in order to appreciate. But ask someone from the Keystone State what they think, and most will swear by it!

Rhode Island: Stuffies (stuffed clams)

In Massachusetts, folks make clam chowder to use up their bounty of locally grown and harvested clams. But in nearby Rhode Island, natives went a different route, creating what's known as the stuffie or the stuffed clam. Made from fresh chopped clams plus breadcrumbs, butter, onions, celery, garlic, and spices, the stuffie mixes all the ingredients together, scoops them into a shell, and bakes them until golden brown. For many who grew up in the Ocean State, stuffies epitomize summer and family trips to the beach — exactly the memories you want from a beloved comfort meal.

South Carolina: Pimento cheese

In most states, comfort foods take the form of a meaty entrée or snack. A few places let their sweet tooth win and go for dessert. But the comfort food that folks in South Carolina jones for the most is actually a dip. And an incredible one at that — pimento cheese! Made from a simple blend of grated sharp cheddar cheese plus diced pimentos (a state specialty) and mayonnaise, this spreadable "comfort in a bowl" is great with fresh veggies or crackers. It can also be used in sandwiches. Try it in a grilled cheese. Life-changing!

South Dakota: Chislic

Whether men and women in South Dakota are attending a festival, a fair, or a backyard barbecue, there's always one amazing comfort food on the menu: chislic. A variation of the Persian word "shishlik" (as in shish kebobs), chislic is exactly that — South Dakota's version of the classic meat on a stick, brought to the region by German and Russian immigrants who settled the area in the late 1800s. The dish typically consists of bite-sized cubes of lamb, beef, or venison that are seasoned with garlic, onion, and black pepper and then grilled or deep-fried.

Tennessee: Hot chicken

Everybody knows and loves classic American fried chicken, but kick that crisp, juicy treat up a notch by adding a bunch of heat — including cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper — and you've got a Tennessee favorite: hot chicken. Believed to be the result of another fortuitous kitchen blunder, this time occurring when a chef accidentally added too much spice to her fried chicken, the dish has now become part of the cultural fabric of Nashville. Make sure to order yours with dill pickles! The cool acidity helps to cut through all that fire.

Texas: Chili con carne

Texas is the home of Tex-Mex, an incredible fusion of traditional Mexican and American cuisines. And the obvious star of the Tex-Mex family is, of course, chili con carne. Originally derived from a traditional Mexican stew of meat and chili peppers, the dish is a hearty and easily transportable food that was a natural fit for the Lone Star State's early cowboys and settlers. Made from a mix of ground beef, chili peppers, onions, tomatoes, and spices, chili con carne is great on its own and even more spectacular when topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, and diced onions. 

Utah: Funeral potatoes

Don't let the slightly morbid name scare you off: Funeral potatoes aren't some deadly potato mixture. That's just the name Utah's Mormon community have given this highly comforting potato casserole classic that's ideal for feeding a grieving family, but also perfect for a lazy Sunday brunch, large family get-together or any community potluck! The basic funeral potato recipe includes cubed potatoes, cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese, mixed together, and topped with corn flakes or bread crumbs before baking. Creamy, savory, and perfect for sharing!

Vermont: Apple cider donut

Vermont is home to some of the world's top apple orchards and leads the nation in the production of apple cider — so adding that crisp, refreshing juice to the nation's favorite early morning wake-up treat was a natural idea. Apple cider donuts are typically made from a mixture of flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, eggs, butter, and — of course — apple cider. The dough is fried and then coated with a thick layer of cinnamon and sugar. Look for homemade versions at farmer's markets and roadside stands throughout the state — they're a Vermont staple!

Virginia: Ham biscuit

Long before the time of Egg McMuffins and frozen breakfast sandwiches, there was the Virginia ham biscuit — one of the first portable grab-and-go meals and a classic Old Dominion comfort food even to this today. First created back in the colonial era, ham biscuits were originally all about the ham. Almost all rural families raised and smoked their own meat, and putting a couple of slices of that homegrown ham in the middle of a fresh biscuit — perhaps with some added mustard, mayo, or honey — was considered an ideal way to help the meat shine.

Washington: Cherry pie

Washington state is one of the leading producers of sweet cherries in the U.S. And when you have a lot of cherries, you make cherry pie! This delicious confection has been a popular dessert and one of the state's most beloved comfort foods since European settlers first arrived in the region and brought their cherry trees with them. A perfect mixture of sweet and tart flavors, cherry pie ticks off all the boxes for just what makes a comfort food so appealing. It's nostalgic, it's iconic, and above all, it's just insanely great to eat. Dig in!

West Virginia: Pepperoni roll

One of West Virginia's most beloved regional specialties, the pepperoni roll (or pep-roll as locals call it) is a bit like a rolled up slice of pizza except it's made with a thicker, flakier bread dough. And the average pepperoni roll tends to be stuffed with way more filling: mountains of pepperoni, shredded mozzarella, onion, peppers, and marinara sauce all heated to perfection inside that portable bread shell. Originally created by Italian immigrants working in the state's coal mines, the humble pepperoni roll has since gone on to become the official meal of the Mountain State.

Wisconsin: Cheese curds

For those living in the cheese capital of the world, you would expect Wisconsinites to embrace a cheese-based treat as their comfort food of choice. And the Badger State does not disappoint. Cheese curds — bite-sized chunks of leftover fresh cheese that are produced during the making of other cheeses like cheddar, Colby, or Monterey Jack — are one of the state's most popular appetizers and snacks. The shards of cheese (which "squeak" when you eat them raw) are batter-dipped and then deep fried to gooey perfection. Way to go, Wisconsin!

Wyoming: Bison burger

Last, but certainly not least, comes Wyoming — one of the largest states in the nation but also the least populated. Fortunately, all that wide-open space leaves plenty of room for natural wonders, including the country's largest herds of buffalo, or bison (a free-roaming cousin of the domesticated cow). Bison burgers use some of that abundant meat, swapping it for beef in any classic hamburger recipe. The result is a leaner, grassier, slightly sweet-tasting burger that folks in the Equality State can't get enough of, with the popularity of bison burgers exploding in recent years.