This Is The Only State To Have Its Own Official Meal

If you are a resident of the United States, you more than likely know at least one of the official symbols of your state, perhaps its official bird, flower, or tree. But do you know what goes into your state's official meal? Probably not — unless you live in Oklahoma, that is. While it's common for states to have an official fruit, vegetable, or food as one of their emblems (as well as an unofficial dish that you have to try at least once when you visit), the Sooner State is the only one in the nation to have adopted an official state meal, and you are definitely going to want to be hungry when you sit down to enjoy it.

Established in 1988, Oklahoma's state meal is more like a state feast that contains as much food as your yearly Thanksgiving dinner. Per State Symbol USA, the spread consists of fried okra, cornbread, barbecue pork, squash, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, pecan pie, and black-eyed peas, all of which are said to "reflect the state's historic and present-day agriculture and the cultural backgrounds of Oklahoma residents."

Oklahoma's state meal is incredibly unhealthy

You can probably guess that eating through the entirety of Oklahoma's state meal is not exactly the healthiest thing you can do. In fact, the spread is so bad for you that in 2010, former state senator Brian Crain sought to repeal the 1988 legislation that adopted the "Oklahoma Meal," arguing that it did not encourage the state's citizens to follow a healthy diet (via Tulsa World). Despite the state being 49th in overall health at the time, his proposal to rescind the original legislation — which he noted was more of a symbolic notion — did not pass.

Therefore, you are still free to recognize the anniversary of "Oklahoma Meal Day" with the state-approved feast every April 19th, just know that you will be consuming 2,700 calories, 125 grams of fat, and 5,250 milligrams of sodium if you gobble it all down (via Tulsa World). However, in a Reddit thread discussing the gargantuan feast, many noted that you could cut down on these amounts by controlling your portion sizes. "Everyone here seems to ignore the possibility that you are not eating the whole animal for the dish... You could very well eat all this menu and have a decent meal in terms of calories," one person wrote. No matter how you decide to attack the meal, it is still probably best to avoid eating it on a daily basis.

A region of Louisiana has an official meal, too

There is one other place in the country that has an official meal. However, unlike Oklahoma, it does not represent the state in its entirety. Back in 2015, chef Hardette Harris of Bossier County, Louisiana set out to put together a meal that represented the "culinary uniqueness of Northern Louisiana," which was officially adopted by the Louisiana State legislature as the official meal of Northern Louisiana on May 4, 2015 (via Louisiana Cookin').

Harris's spread contains a total of 33 items that, while available just about anywhere in Louisiana, are claimed in the legislation to taste their best when prepared in the northern region of the state. Diners create their meal by mix-and-matching the individual items, which includes regional staples like mini Natchitoches meat pies, fried chicken and catfish, black-eyed peas, fried okra, and cornbread. It also consists of a range of desserts, including pecan pie and pound cake, as well as condiments, such as hot pepper sauce, and, of course, the official drink is a nice cold sweet tea.