Discover the Weirdest Food in Each State in the USBy Anglina Roberts
The United States is a vast and diverse country, with a unique culinary scene that varies greatly from state to state. While some states are famous for their delicious regional dishes, others are known for their more bizarre and unusual food offerings
From deep-fried insects to bizarre meat dishes, every state has something unusual to offer. In this article, we’ll take a gastronomical tour of the US and explore the weirdest food from each state.
Get ready to step out of your comfort zone and discover some of the most bizarre and unique foods that America has to offer.
Vermont: Sugar On Snow
Aside from the cold breeze brought by winter, what else does Vermont have to offer? Snow, of course! We love to play in the snow and let feathery-soft flakes fall on our tongues. Whether you’re out building a snowman with the kids or watching the snow fall from the cozy comfort of your home, there’s nothing like winter in Vermont.
One of the more unusual things Vermont locals like to do is to eat fresh snow with maple syrup for dessert. Combine both ingredients, and that’s all there is to it! You’ve got a delicious bowl of Vermont’s famous sugar on snow. As recommended, make sure the snow is crystal clean.
Georgia: Peanuts In Coke
You’ve got to be kidding. Peanuts in Coke? We don’t know, but peanuts are delicious. Plus, they’re good for the brain – we’ve seen it advertised somewhere. Of course, we are not experts in the field, but why add peanuts to Coke? Why ruin a perfectly good beverage?
This trend started in the 1920s when workers didn’t want to touch peanuts with their bare (dirty) hands. They were just too busy to wash their hands or eat a proper meal, so they put the nuts in their Coke bottles where the fizzy drink apparently sanitizes them. Wow!
Who would eat a horseshoe? Apparently, people in Illinois do. Well, before you raise your eyebrows in disbelief, the horseshoe we are talking about is not the one you are thinking of right now. It was not pulled off the muddy hood of a horse. They just called them horseshoes because of the shape of the meat.
The ingredients are mainly french fries, cheese sauce, and hamburger patties. However, you can also use chicken, ham, or bacon instead. For people who love some extra kick, you can sprinkle some chili powder onto your horseshoe. Just keep in mind that it might be a bit of a mess to eat it, so make sure not to wear anything white.
Hawaii: The Loco Moco
Aside from having beautiful beaches, what more is there to see and experience in Hawaii? The Loco Moco translates to the crazy burger. Not bad for a food name, right? You might feel a little loco when you get a taste of this burger.
The usual ingredients are white rice, hamburger patty, fried egg, and brown gravy. However, there are a lot of different recipes for the Loco Moco in the state. We just love this dish. And the rice? Onolicious!
Nebraska: Hot Beef Sundae
Little did we realize that a hot beef sundae was even possible. Seriously, we just wanted an ice cream sundae filled with candy sprinkles and choco chips. Well, the state of Nebraska made the unthinkable possible. This popular dessert consists of mashed potatoes, beef, and gravy.
Let us not forget the sour cream and cherry on top! Whoever created this type of food had a “creative” mind for novelty cuisine. A strange dish like a hot beef sundae might be worth a try—but we can’t imagine it becoming a national favorite. Come on, let’s feed our curious minds and appetite!
Oklahoma: Fried Rattlesnake
Just hearing the name rattlesnake is enough to send chills up your spine. How much more when you hear that there are people who actually have the guts to fry them and eat them? While the rest of us find it odd, the people in Oklahoma see fried rattlesnake as quite normal.
For them, the fried rattlesnake is like fried chicken. In fact, many say it tastes the same. What sorcery is this? We imagine the thinking here is, “if you can’t beat them, eat them!” Would you dare to munch on a fried rattlesnake?
New Mexico: Green Chili Sundae
Warm days and freezing cold desert nights – what a combo! Aside from deserts, New Mexico also has a popular dessert that is thoroughly unique to the state. It’s nice that they have something to ease the heat of the weather, as we all know that New Mexico is a warm place.
The New Mexico sundae is not your typical sundae – they use green chili! We honestly can’t imagine who figured out that it’s a good idea to add green chili to a sundae! Just a friendly piece of advice: this dessert comes with different names, so we suggest sticking to chocolate or strawberry if you don’t want to try it by accident.
Massachusetts: Marshmallow Fluff
If you’re wondering what that white stuff is between the bread, that’s a marshmallow that’s been melted and turned into a spread. Yes, it’s as plain as that. We could just end it here, but no! We have some more things to say about the Massachusetts Marshmallow Fluff.
First, this is not advisable for people who suffer from diabetes. This sandwich is pure evil as it offers everything you need to fast-track your way to diabetes and ill health. We’re just reminding you that it’s not something you wouldn’t want to risk.
Georgia: Pear Salad
Salad and pear? There’s nothing weird about that. What could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, it’s the other ingredients that make this Georgian dish so strange. Aside from the titular ingredients, they also use mayonnaise, shredded cheddar cheese, and Maraschino cherries on top.
The dessert is perfectly normal to people from the state of Georgia. If you are an outsider like us, you will probably find it strange! Of course, that won’t stop us from trying pear salad if we visit Georgia!
Colorado: Rocky Mountain Oyster
Before you get your spoon ready, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Because the state is almost surrounded by land, there’s no way that they have any local source of oysters. So, what on earth is in the Rocky Mountain Oyster dish?
So, what is a Rocky Mountain Oyster? Apparently, it is bull testicles. Yes, you read that right. We’re pretty adventurous with food, but this dish? Not a chance! We recommend this to people who are into weird food discoveries. This one takes the cake!
South Carolina: Fried Pig Ears
When we say we can eat all the parts of the pig, we mean it. After the pig knuckles, it’s time to cook up the pig ears. This one, honestly, we’ll do without. We don’t have the guts to eat it. No, we are not extreme enough to even consider tasting one.
But, hey! Just because we don’t eat it doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. If you ask people who live in South Carolina who have eaten this dish, they’ll probably say it’s one of a kind. Well, pig ears are indeed one of a kind.
California: Burritos With French Fries
Finally, something we will surely eat. A burrito and french fries in one dish? Bring it on. Although we haven’t had a chance to try this, we’re sure we’ll love this combo. Don’t be confused. The french fries aren’t separate – they are inside the burrito. How crazy is that?
All we know is that french fries and burritos are divine foods. And we can’t wait to taste them all together in one dish. Say whatever you want, but we’re pretty sure it’s deliciously odd. Don’t forget your secret sauces!
Arkansas: Chocolate Gravy
There’s nothing weird about chocolate gravy – it contains cocoa powder, sugar, flour, and fat. Nothing really screams odd to us. We can imagine how delicious it would be to dip biscuits or bread in there. It’s like chocolate spread but a bit more watery.
In Arkansas, they pour chocolate gravy over anything. From steak and turkey to mashed potato and biscuits, there’s never a reason to leave chocolate gravy off the table. If you want to get adventurous in Arkansas, why not start here? Try chocolate gravy, and see if you end up wanting to have some more.
Tennessee: The Fat Elvis
We are sure they are not calling “The King” fat or trying to bully him – definitely not. The state of Tennessee is popular for its signature BBQ and fried chicken. That’s a perfect combination right there – the perfect combo to serve when you’re at home chilling in your backyard.
Going back to the Fat Elvis, we’re sure you know how weird the composition of Elvis’ diet was, right? This sandwich honors him by combining peanut butter, banana, and bacon. Put these three together on bread, toast it, and you have a delicious Fat Elvis. Does that sound good to you?
Wyoming is a perfect place for seeing wild animals like elk, thanks to its huge open spaces available for them to roam. Although elk are huge in size, people in Wyoming are quite fearless in hunting them down. Those spiky horns mean nothing to them!
We can’t blame them for risking their lives just to get a taste of elk’s meat because of the many health benefits it provides. We just hope they practice caution every time they do it. After all, hunting is a dangerous pastime.
Indiana: Roast Beef Manhattan
Can you guess what type of food is in the photo? We would not have guessed beef, but there you go. It looks like vegetables and red paste on bread, proving the point that you can’t judge a meal by how it looks!
What you’re seeing here is a famous dish from Indiana called Roast beef Manhattan. It is a combination of beef (of course), mashed potatoes, brown gravy, and sugar cream pie – nothing too crazy then! It’s surprising that the sugar cream pie blends well with the gravy and the beef. Next time you visit Indiana, grab some of this dish.
Who would have thought you could change the color of pickles? The people of Mississippi, apparently. Koolickle is a combination of Kool-Aid (as in the drink) and pickles – props to them for the name. People in the state actually do this, and we don’t know why.
Honestly, the people in the South are very different. They are just unique, so we aren’t that surprised to hear about this. While every dish on this list has been strange, we think Mississippi takes the top prize with its Koolickles.
Rhode Island: Chop Suey Sandwich
No offense, but this might be the most unappealing food we’ve ever seen. Chop Suey consists of vegetables, meat, eggs, and noodles, which is good so far. The composition isn’t weird at all, but we can’t say the same about the direction Rhode Island takes it in next.
We have tried this one out, and we admit that it tastes good. If we remove the fact that it looks messy, this sandwich is surprisingly delicious. By the way, can we talk about those noodles? To be honest, they look like little gray worms. Oopsie! Again, we mean no offense.
If you thought this was a chocolate bar, you are wrong. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a meat cake. Just like livermush, the scrapple is made out of different animal parts. And honestly, there are people who love to savor this food.
There are so many ways to serve this strange dish. You can cut it up to use as sandwich meat, fry it, or simply bite into it like it’s chocolate. If you ever visit Pennsylvania and you want to try some extreme foods, we highly recommend this one.
New Mexico: Carne Adovada
Carne Adovada means pork stewed in red chili sauce. The red chili and pork combination? Yummy! The result? Interesting. When you look at it, it somehow resembles dog food. For your own sake, we suggest that you stop imagining such things and just eat it!
If you’re visiting the state and you encountered this food, we suggest you try it (we’ll try it too – we promise). Just close your eyes and silently chew it. Pair it with a sunny-side-up egg and some toasty-warm hashbrowns for the ultimate experience.
New Jersey: Pork Roll, Egg, And Cheese (PRE&C)
If you have problems with your cholesterol levels, the PRE&C is not for you. Just one look at the ingredients, and you’ll know what we’re talking about. This is overly salty too. If you insist on trying this one, make sure that you have already booked an appointment with your doctor for a check-up.
This food is notorious for causing awful smells to emanate from your body, so if you were to have some PRE&C while visiting New Jersey, we suggest you eat it at home. That way, you bother other people!
New Hampshire: Grape-Nuts Ice Cream
Who doesn’t love the delicious indulgence that is ice cream? We have so many different flavors to choose from with different toppings too. However, there are just some things that you can’t add to ice cream – like grape nuts.
We don’t know about the rest of the people out there, but grape nuts in ice cream is definitely a no for us. We’re not sure if this strategy aims to help people in New Hampshire to eat more fiber, but we don’t think it really contributes much flavor-wise to the oh-so-perfect ice cream.
Michigan: Feet And Potatoes
You’ve heard of meat and potatoes. Well, in the state of Michigan, they eat feet and potatoes! When talking about weird food, Michigan comes out on top due to this bizarre dish. You’ll also see people selling possum jerky on the street. What is going on, Michigan?
To be honest, seeing those tiny fingers is already a horrifying sight. Respect to those who have tried this dish, but we think this is one of those risks that we’re not willing to take. If you’re after an extreme experience, head to Michigan – this bizarre state has you covered!
Kansas has a very strong German ancestry. No wonder they are famous for their cabbage rolls. You know what people say – Germans are strangely fond of cabbages. They always find ways to insert cabbage into anything edible, just like this dish known as Bierocks.
The bread is stuffed with – surprise, surprise – cabbage. And once you take a bit of this cabbage roll, you’ll definitely reminisce about cat food (no kidding). They’re kind of like bland hot pockets. If you’re about to order this and you don’t have any idea of how to say it, it is pronounced “bee-rocks.”
Iowa: Loose Meat
Want to witness something crazy, like how the classic combination of ground beef and carbs can go astray? Honestly, there are just things in this world that we shouldn’t touch, and Iowa’s famous loose-meat sandwich is a testament to that.
Once a classic should always be classic, right? That’s what we believed too. However, the loose-meat sandwich proves that combining two staples like bread and ground beef isn’t always a good idea. It’s not the taste that’s the problem – it’s the mess.
Illinois: Gravy Bread
This image should be enough to dissuade anyone who thinks this is a good idea. You’re wrong! It’s awful. Look at it. It’s something our dogs wouldn’t even dare to eat. Interestingly, we want to meet people who love this dish and ask them the most important question: Why?
If you’re curious (really?) about how to make this, it is simple. Take out the juice from the famous Chicagoland, and then dip, no, soak the bun in it. That’s it. If you’re looking to try this (again, really?), then visit Illinois.
Idaho: Sturgeon Eggs
Did you know that Idaho is famous for its American beluga? If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically American caviar. While it sounds fancy, this delicacy is simply made up of sturgeon eggs from the rivers of Idaho. Crazy, right? That’s caviar!
Before you order this one, just a reminder that caviar is quite expensive. Order at your own risk. This food definitely burns a hole in your pocket, and we’re not sure if you want to waste the money on this.
What you see below is definitely not an earth-bound duck! Some people are a little too curious about the things they see and want to know how they taste. We wouldn’t dare to put this anywhere near our mouths! We have no desire to know how it tastes.
Apparently, many people were captured by the shape, texture, and taste of these geoducks. To us, they look odd and quite unappetizing. If you want to taste it, go for it. Don’t bother telling us you’ve experienced it – we’re a little too busy to chat about this any longer!
Georgia: Ham Hocks
Ham hocks, or pig knuckles, are 100% edible. Apparently, this dish is popular in southern parts of the United States. It is a great alternative to bacon and has some similarities too. You can expect a crunchy exterior with a smoky flavor while the inside is soft and juicy red meat.
That said, we cannot be rude enough just to say “no.” It feels weird that some people actually eat these (humongous) hocks. Still, it’s not that bad compared to other entries on this list. If given a chance, we’d probably try this one out.
Florida: Gator Tail
They say if you want to encounter the craziest people in America, you have to visit Florida. After creating this list, we think that’s right. Are they nonchalantly munching on the tail of a cold-blooded killing machine – who does that? People in Florida do.
Gator tails are from alligators, obviously. Surprisingly, they have different ways to serve this dish. They fry it, put it in stews, mash it into burgers, and those are just a few of the many options. They claim gator meat tastes like a cross between fish and chicken, and there’s no other way to explain it. Sounds interesting, right?
Delaware: Slippery Dumplings
Do you love dumplings, or are you not a fan? That’s a very important question you need to answer before trying this dish. Some people say dumplings are one of the foods that you either love or hate, nothing in between.
The dish is basically a crock pot of chicken and noodles soaked in chicken broth. Nothing screams weird here, right? Wrong. It may sound good, but the taste? We don’t talk about the taste. Let’s just wait until you have the courage to eat it, and then we can talk about it.
Connecticut: New Haven Clam Pie
Just like Germans who put cabbage over anything they eat, people in Connecticut squeeze clams over anything and everything, including pizza. We’ve been exposed to a lot of different types of pizza like Hawaiian, pepperoni and cheese, and many more. But clams? No thanks!
A lot of us will agree that pizza and clams are good individually, but together? That’s a different story. Surprisingly, there are tons of people who admire this dish. If you happen to visit Connecticut and try this dish – please check back in and tell us how it tastes!
Arizona: Mesquite Pods
If worst comes to worst and you’re stuck by the side of the road in Arizona, just search for long spider-like pods. They are edible. People in Arizona say that it tastes like Skittles – yeah, right. The bottom line is to avoid getting stranded in Arizona.
One more thing: Mesquite bean coffee is the answer if you wish to try a unique, caffeine-free but coffee-like experience. This type of coffee is quite different from what we normally drink every day. Apparently, the extraction process is much more complicated than our regular coffee. If you’re after a special treat, this one may be for you.
Wyoming: Chicken-Fried Steak
Chicken-fried steak is not that bad, but if you have a good cut of meat, we think there are better dishes to make out there. Of course, if you’re looking for a good chicken dish in Wyoming, this one is something you should try.
Honestly, a chicken-fried steak topped with some gravy is just too simple and plain. Of course, we will still eat it if someone serves it to us. We just hope it tastes better than it looks. That white sauce makes it look so bland!
Wisconsin: Beer Cheese Soup
Beer and cheese? Probably not the best combination. A beer cheese soup is definitely not good, to tell you the truth. Apparently, there are a lot of people who want to make it “a thing,” and we don’t know why.
We’re curious about just one thing. If we eat some beer cheese soup, will it make us drunk? Is Wisconsin bluffing, and there’s no real beer? If it does have beer in it, then don’t try this as a hangover soup.
South Dakota: Chislic
Considering that this comes from South Dakota, it makes so much sense. No offense to the people living there, but yes, it is not a surprise. Chislic is dice-sized meat on toothpicks. Is it just us, or do you feel like it’s not for people who love meat? Not because it’s not delicious, but the size – it’s too small.
No kidding! These chunks are really small. The size is just perfect for young kids or a snack. Also, what if we added some melted cheese on top? Now that sounds like a treat! We’ll probably make this one at home. We’ll just take a much larger serving than this one.
Rhode Island: Stuffed Quahogs
Do you know what’s not working with this food? It’s the presentation. There’s nothing wrong with stuffed clams in general. They’re a delicious treat, and there’s something about them that will always appeal to us. However, the presentation isn’t really the best in the image below.
Stuffed Quahogs consist of breadcrumbs and clam mixture. The dish is baked in the quahog shell, and that’s it! You have this delicacy. We just hope they’ll spend more time on the presentation next time. Delicious food with good presentation is heaven!
Iowa: Fried Butter
There are endless ways to ruin food with butter, but this is something we weren’t expecting. Eating a whole stick of butter? Yeah, no. That’s just too awful. Imagine frying butter and putting it in a bun like a hotdog. It’s a no for us.
At first, we thought no one would dare to eat this food, but the people of Iowa proved us wrong. For just four dollars, you can turn your good life upside down. We’re not exaggerating – this can cause your cholesterol to skyrocket. You can try it if you want, but you’ve been warned.
Kentucky: Lamb Fries
News flash! These aren’t just any parts of the lamb. It’s their testicles. These aren’t something we encounter every day, but in Kentucky, this is something people actually eat and enjoy. And we wonder how and why? This is not a fantasy, everyone. This is real.
For a moment, we thought things were going in the right direction when we heard the name. But it was false hope. Now we are asking ourselves, are there really people who eat testicles? Sorry to keep on saying it, but it actually makes us feel unwell.
Aside from testicles, people are now eating the internal organs of lobsters. Are we not informed that we should eat everything inside an animal? Is it us, or are there still people who find it weird to eat things like this?
It’s like the TV series iZombie, where the lead actor eats people’s brains to know what happened to them. Can we, perhaps, acquire some knowledge on how to breathe underwater by eating lobster brains? If that’s the case, we’ll probably consider eating this dish.
Maryland: Stuffed Ham
At last, something that we can actually eat. Ham makes us so happy, especially during the Christmas holidays. Growing up, we felt excited by the scent of ham in the kitchen. However, because we are talking about weird food, we have a feeling this stuffed ham isn’t like the normal ones.
Because Americans love to stuff food with other food, we are not surprised to learn that people in Maryland have a dish like this one – a ham stuffed with cabbage and kale. People in Maryland sure know how to make a dish extra healthy.
Alabama: Ambrosia Salad
Nothing beats a salad made of fresh fruits and a scoop of ice cream on the side. But for Alabamans drawn into the strange goodness of Ambrosia salad, we can’t help but ask—why, oh why? Can this one really be considered a “salad?”
The person behind this odd dessert thought it would be great to combine pieces of canned fruits with a fusion of pecans, marshmallows, and whipped cream. Then, to top it all off (literally), they put Maraschino cherries on top. Yay or nay for this artificial kind of dish?
Who doesn’t love a scrumptious dessert? Akutuq, an Alaskan ice cream, is a mixture of whipped animal fats and wild berries. It’s the meatiest ice cream you’ll ever eat. While no spices or cooking are involved, this weird food is definitely not for vegetarians.
Large batches of this dessert are specially made to be stored in a family’s permafrost cellar. Some batches were even made centuries ago! We understand that the cost of food in Alaska nowadays is pricier but let’s not forget that there are better choices. Baked Alaska, anyone?
When you don’t have any food to eat and the only “edible” dish to eat is Nutria, would you give it a try? Nutria sounds nutritious-ish—but our taste buds disagree. The very fact that this is a huge yellow-toothed swamp river rat, would you take the risk of dissatisfying your gastronomic delights?
We appreciate that Louisiana chefs put great effort into mixing spices into this weird dish, but they can’t hide the fact that this exotic animal is still just a large rat—which is not a pleasing sentiment to the eyes or taste buds.
Imagine dropping ground beef, starch, frozen vegetables, and canned soup into a pot. Weird, isn’t it? The hotdish goes back to when frugal wives of farmers had to provide food for their families and congregations in the cellars of the first Minnesota churches.
Word has it that this bizarre main course in Minnesota is still as popular as ever. Did we mention that Minnesotans pair the hotdish with coleslaw, potato salad, and Jello? We can’t blame you if you’re eager to attend a family party in Minnesota asap.
Missouri: St. Louis Pizza
Does anyone like a thin crispy pizza cut into party sizes? Kids, anyone? Oh well, the St. Louis pizza is like a Ritz cracker topped with sweet tomato sauce and the infamous Provel cheese. Don’t even think of folding the crust—it’s a giant cracker, remember?
Can we sample the gooey butter cake instead? Or perhaps a heart-stopping serving of BLT? Truth be told, we’re not just fans of a cracker-like pizza—even if it is stuffed with pepperoni or salami. There are other delicious dishes to be found in the state of Missouri. Thank you, next!
Montana is famed for its stunning views, thanks to its snow-capped mountains that are nothing short of magnificent nature at its most primal and awe-inspiring. But its food department lacks appreciation. Take the pemmican as an example.
Wikipedia describes this not-so-delicious food as “a concentrated mixture of fat and protein used as a nutritious food.” Well, history has it that pemmican was specially made as a snack rich in calories and nutrients to sustain European explorers and fur traders. That said, would you dare eat this?
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas—including all-you-can-eat buffets. In a city where buffets are nearly as popular as casinos, these pick-and-mix restaurants are thriving. Can someone tell us about the unique foods in Nevada? Pretty please? People visit Vegas for shopping, entertainment, and parties—not for gastronomic treats.
Since the silver state doesn’t have an official food to be proud of, buffets are introduced. After an enjoyable and exhausting nightlife, a bunch of people, especially tourists would go to buffets to satisfy their hungry stomachs.
New York: Rochester Garbage Plate
It is not surprising that extraordinary things happen in New York—in many ways, the city feels like the center of the world. But here’s something from the fringe: Ever heard of the Rochester garbage plate? It sounds gross, and looking at the picture, it looks like it, too!
How did the garbage plate earn its name? Well, some local college kids were in Nick Tahou’s, and one of them requested “a plate with all the garbage on it.” Request granted: cheeseburgers, hamburgers, hotdogs, grilled cheese, eggs, home fries, black beans, and salad, all in one serving. Would you be interested in eating “garbage?”
North Carolina: Livermush
A classic dish in North Carolina, livermush doesn’t look appealing at all. Why in the world would you eat something made of pig liver, parts of pig head, and cornmeal? Livermush could pass as a Pop-Tarts look alike, but this weird food is nowhere near as tasty as the famous toaster pastry.
One look at the photo, and all we could say was that we were not interested in having this dish for breakfast. We’d maybe try it once, but only if we could integrate Texas Pete and North Carolina’s dipped fried chicken into the mix.