Regional food pride is one thing that nearly every American connects with—at least one food staple will trigger memories from home or the place a person grew up. From childhood Nilla pudding served at cookouts to cod fish packed in lye on Christmas day, our palates and love for food are hugely defined by the places we have lived and what we were eating while there. Regional food always has a story that says something about the place and its history.
As we’ve said before (and many other have argued before us), there are few better ways to understand the 50 states than through their local food traditions. Though we have all heard of Chicago deep dish and Texas BBQ, there are lesser known delicacies like goetta and Gerber sandwiches to be discovered. Here are 25 regional dishes that you might not know by name, but probably should.
How many have you tried? We think it should be every American’s goal to eat ’em all one day.