Revealed: Some of the Weirdest Local Dishes in the US

Every country has its own signature dish, a meal that’s unique to the country. The United States is no different, where each state has its own take on a menu item, one you will only find in that particular state. What are the strangest meal ideas or taste combinations that the US has to offer?

Some States Have Strange Tastes

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A local delicacy is often the product of old handed-down recipes of dishes someone’s mom made. They will be made from foods produced locally and prepared in a traditional way only used by the state. These plates of food are lodged deep in the hearts of those who cook and eat them. Some states have raised the stakes, and here are some of the weirdest local meals made in America.

What to Eat in Georgia? 

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The state of Georgia is America’s biggest producer of peanuts, so it’s not surprising that these nuts have a leading role in their signature dish. Pop some fresh peanuts into a bottle of Coca-Cola and there you have it: Georgia’s signature dish, Coca-Cola and peanuts.

Florida’s Feisty Favorite

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Whenever you’re in Florida, don’t leave the state before you try their famous fish dish. The Alligator tail tenderloin is pounded like a veal chop. It’s then covered in batter or crumbs and deep-fried. This state favorite is as weird as it gets, but you can also find alligator burgers, stew, steaks, and many other alligator-related foods in Florida.

The Gold Rush Classic

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The “Hangtown Fry” dates back to the era of prospectors and the gold rush. California was fed on a diet of necessity; unless of course, you struck it rich. Then in Placerville, otherwise known as Hangtown, you could order the most expensive meal available: an omelet consisting of eggs, bacon and oysters, all of which needed to be shipped to the remote town.

The Alabama Standard 

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The signature dish of Alabama is pretty simple. But there’s something special in its simplicity, and something weird too. Take two slices of bread and slather them with mayonnaise; add some slices of the freshest locally grown tomatoes. And that’s it. Tomato and mayonnaise sandwich.

Sushi Is Different in Hawaii

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To make sushi, you take the finest fresh fish, slice it delicately and place it atop rice. Well, not in Hawaii. They have changed the sushi game forever, and using the last thing you would imagine. Spam. Hawaii’s menu-shocker consists of rice with a block of spam on top, which is then wrapped in dried seaweed. It’s called Spam Musubi.

Ham Balls in Iowa

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Iowa has always done things differently. Their signature meal is much the same, but different. To make it, you need to mix graham cracker crumbs with ground pork and ground beef. Then it’s made into balls before being drowned in a sticky and sweet tomato sauce. Sounds amazing.

Louisiana Duck

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Known locally as Turducken, this is no ordinary duck dish. It’s poultry, but not as you know it. To make this table centerpiece, you must somehow get a chicken into a duck. Then put that into a turkey, while pushing pork stuffing between the layers.

The Maryland Coddies

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Maryland has their take on how to prepare fish cakes. They’re known all over the state as Coddies. These Saltine and fish cake sandwiches were all the rage in the 50s and 60s. Back then, you could get one of these egg, onion, fish and potato cake sandwiches just about anywhere.

Massachusetts Madness

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There is a meal in Massachusetts that makes no sense at all. Until you eat it, that is. The Chow Mein Sandwich was invented in the 1920s, when chef Frederick Wong decided to make a pork Chow Mein and then put it between two sides of a burger bun. It became the famed favorite of Fall River Massachusetts.

Tater Tots in Minnesota 

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Minnesota is known for one dish that breaks all the rules: the tater tot hotdish. The state favorite began life as a way to use up leftovers. Mix up any beef, vegetables and beans you didn’t eat the night before and cover it with cream of mushroom soup. Then top off with tater tots and cheese before placing in the oven. Bake until golden and enjoy.

Missouri St Paul Sandwich 

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The ingredients of a St Paul sandwich might surprise you, considering its name. Lettuce, pickle, onion and mayo are placed on top of an egg foo young patty, before being placed between two slices of white bread. It’s been on the menu in Missouri since the 40s and is still going strong.

Oysters of the Rocky Mountains 

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The Rocky Mountains are not near any large body of water that produces oysters. So why is their local delicacy called the Rocky Mountain oyster? It’s because they’re not oysters at all. These are bull’s testicles that are dipped in batter and deep fried. They are not for the faint of heart.

Montana Pasty

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Pasties have long been a great way to transport a high-protein meal in one package. The Montana pasty is no different. Beef, onions, and potatoes are spiced and wrapped in pastry before cooking in the oven. Make sure you try the Butte Pasty of Montana.

Disco Fries in New Jersey 

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If you’re looking for a new hangover cure, look no further. New Jersey got it right when they came up with this classic. Based on a French dish called Poutine, this lazy version is a state must-have. Thick crinkle-cut fries are slathered in gravy and topped with American cheese. What more could you ask for?

New Mexico Green Chilli Sundaes 

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When In Rome, you do as the Romans do. When in New Mexico, you put chillies on everything. Even sundaes. The favorite dessert of the state is a green chili sundae. And it’s exactly what it’s called. A sundae with a topping of green chili jam.

Garbage Plates in New York

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There is a lot of garbage in the state of New York. Most of it you should steer clear of. It’s not to be eaten, except for the famous garbage plate. This dish is made with a base of potato hash, French fries and baked beans. Cover it with macaroni salad and ground meat of your choosing, then top with cheese and hot sauce. Simple.

Famous for a Reason

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You can see why these dishes are famous in each of their home states. There are some strange food pairings on the list for sure, but whatever you might think of them, you never know until you’ve tasted them.

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Thomas James

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