This Should Be Nebraska's Official Food, According To Reddit

States don't have official foods like they do official birds and flowers. But considering America's culinary diversity, there should probably be some sort of official list that spotlights the unique fare found in each of our 50 states. Redditor emilou09 posted in the subreddit r/cooking, explaining that she was attempting to cook one meal from every state, and sought answers as to what dishes represented which states. The answers were shockingly unanimous, which makes us think it probably wouldn't be that difficult to come up with a true list of state foods. 

Some of the answers, like a "Hot Brown" from Kentucky, have us a little puzzled. Others sound downright heavenly, like New Hampshire's blueberry pancakes and fresh, local maple syrup. The unofficial state food for Nebraska, however, will probably sound totally foreign to anyone who hasn't tried it or been to the area, but we'll do our best to do justice to this well-loved dish that seems to only exist in this one state.

A runza, anyone?

If you haven't heard of a runza, you're not alone. This handheld Nebraska staple has been passed down from generation to generation, and is now so beloved there's a fast food chain named after them. Food & Wine attempted to describe this dish for readers by comparing it to both a pierogi and a Hot Pocket. While the exact origins of the runza are unknown, Food & Wine does its best to sum up its beefy beginnings: "Sauteed ground beef and cabbage went into a rectangular, bread roll-like creation, was served to people who thought they really tasted good, and the rest is delicious history." 

Runzas are also known as bierocks in areas around the Midwest. They're sold at football games, at Runza Restaurants (which have 85 locations, but only five of them are outside of Nebraska), and enjoyed as part of home cooked meals around the state. Next time you're driving through or visiting Nebraska — or even if you live in a neighboring state — make sure you stop and grab yourself one of these simple but surprisingly delicious sandwiches, er, pockets. And if a runza doesn't sound appealing, try Nebraska's other unofficial state food: chili with cinnamon rolls.