The United States of America is a very large country known for its movie and music industry, its history, and of course its own unique food. American dishes are as diverse as the population which is why it often looks like a delicious never-ending journey. From North to South, from the west coast to the east coast there are no two chicken wings that would taste the same. The reason for that is that every state has its own favorite flavors. So, the same way you would probably not go to China to eat a Spanish paella, the same it is always better to try the traditional American dishes in their state of origin.
1. Alaska, USA, Reindeer sausage
Let’s start our American dishes tour with the coldest place of the country Alaska. Many would think that this State would be specialized in plates of seafood only but actually, it has a tradition of hunting in the snow. Back from the hunt, you will be able to eat a reindeer sausage made of reindeer meat seasoned with white pepper, coriander, other spices, and then alder smoked. The reindeer sausages are the must-try in this region of the world and probably one of the very few places in the world where you will be able to enjoy the meat of this animal. Almost from the same family, you could enjoy some elk meat too, but in Wyoming, in their famous elk burger.
2. Arizona American Enchiladas
The cuisine of the south of America has been quite influenced by Hispanic culture over the years. This is why it is not that surprising to find a typical Spanish dish like the enchiladas in the menus. However, the enchiladas of Arizona are not a pale copy of the original but a personal reinvention of the recipe. Also called Sonoran Flat Enchiladas, they are made with cornflour and resemble pancakes. Then they are fried and smothered with enchilada sauce before being garnish with diced onions, shredded lettuce, and diced green onion. The best part may be the melting of the longhorn cheese on top.
3. Colorado Rocky Mountain Oyster
Some American dishes can be surprising and the Rocky Mountain Oyster is one of those. Colorado’s famous oysters are in reality not made of seafood at all. They consist of some delicious calf, bull, or bison testicles cooked in many different ways. Poached, boiled, backed, the most common remains fried, topped with some ironic dollops of cocktail sauce.
4. Florida Key Lime Pie
This pie is among the easiest American recipes. Made of condensed milk, lime juice, egg yolks, and baked graham crackers, it is sour yet sweet. Even though it only has four ingredients it remains very flavorful thanks to the lime variety found in Florida. Some pies use some whipped egg whites to add a bit of fluffiness.
5. Idaho, USA, Finger steaks
Wasting is bad! The whole world knows that and for certain in Idaho too. The finger steaks were invented back in the late ’50s as a means of disposing of leftover tenderloin. It is considered a bit like chicken nuggets but with steaks. Indeed, the main ingredient is different but the overall recipe quite look-alike, with more seasonings for the finger steaks.
6. Illinois American Deep Dish Pizza
Also known as the Chicago-style pizza, the deep dish pizza takes that Italian dish to another level. This pizza belongs to our American dishes list without shame. It is characterized by a tall, flaky crust that holds think layers of mozzarella and chunky tomato. We are far from the finesse of the thin crust Napoli Italian pizza. In the cities of Illinois, many variations exist so you could never get bored.
7. Iowa Corn dogs
Corn dogs have become one of those widespread street foods in the north of the United States. If the original version comes from Iowa, it exists today numerous variations. Those variations include the addition of ingredients like cheese for instance but also a difference in size. The “corn puppies” are the smallest versions of the corn dogs. However, the base recipe is the same which is a hot-dog sausage dipped in a cornflour batter and then fried.
8. Louisiana American Jambalaya
Louisiana is probably one of the most exotic yet authentic American states. Therefore, it’s not surprising that one of its most famous American dishes has foreign roots. The jambalaya is a tasty rice dish made of chicken, prawns and smoked sausages. It was inspired by the creole version of it.
9. New Hampshire traditional Cider Donuts
America is usually known for being a meat lovers countries but if you have a sweet tooth you still are in the right place. The delicious reputation of donuts is not to be made anymore but in New Hampshire, the recipe is taken to another level. In this state where pumpkin is often king, an original version of the donut is born. It has become now a tradition to use apple cider to make lightly tangy, apple-scented more tender donuts.
10. New Jersey Pork Rolls
The pork rolls or Taylor Ham from his creator John Taylor is a go-to street food in New Jersey, especially in the morning. When a random American in the rest of a country would think of a cup of coffee, in New Jersey it’s the Pork rolls which are in the minds. It’s a complete meal itself with eggs, rolled pork slices, American cheese, and sauce in a hard roll or flaky croissant. This breakfast sandwich will have you filled up until lunch.
11. New York traditional Buffalo Wings
What is as American as a Burger or a Hot-dog? The Buffalo wings! And not any but those from New York. Did you know that their birthday is celebrated? They are 56 years old this year. However, they still as tasty as the first night they were cooked for a group of friends arriving late at night. If nowadays, many restaurants in the world offer a copy of it, they can never be loved and celebrated the same. Indeed, in New York, every Labor Day weekend is the National Buffalo Wing Festival. Worldwide, it’s the most popular celebration of the chicken wing!
12. Ohio Cincinnati Chilli, American dish
Your remember Arizona which was influenced by Spanish dishes?! When it comes to Ohio, this influence was especially Mediterranean. This is where comes from the Cincinnati Chilli. Used as a topping for spaghetti in general, the Chilli of Cincinnati is not to be confused with the Texan or European one. The difference that made its cult-like popularity is the way the meat is cooked. Moreover, this American dish is prepared with a surprising mix of spices like cocoa, cinnamon, and Worcestershire. Definitely unique!
13. Pennsylvania Philly Cheesesteak
The more you travel in USA the more you discovered how developed the culture of street food with sandwiches is. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania had to make its own. But, instead of focusing on the meat, they decided to focus of an ultimate American favorite: cheese. You take a long hoagie roll that you fill with sauces and veggies. Then you add some thinly sliced pieces of beefsteak and of course, some melted cheese. You let the magic happens and here you have a Philly Cheesesteak.
14. Texas Barbecue Brisket
When you are living most of the year under a hot shining sun you are more likely to organize a few barbecues now and then. In Texas, it may happen quite often which explains the creation of the smoked brisket. The ingredients are quite simple: a fire, a brisket, some BBQ sauce, and a foil. Then, with a bit of technique and 4-5h of patience, you can enjoy your Barbecue brisket.
15. West Virginia, USA, Cornbread
Let’s finish this list with another sweet American touch. Cornbread is very common around the country. You may not need to go all the way to West Virginia to eat some unless you want to taste an original version. This sweet cornbread, also called Southern Skillet Cornbread, is nothing complicated to make. It’s a mix between a bread and a cake. But, in West Virginia, it’s more than this. It’s THE comfort dish paired with brown beans, of this coal-mining region.
You have now an overview of American specialties. Some of them you may probably have known for a long time without being able to guess where it came from. But, now you have no excuse and know where to find the authentic version. You may have noticed the diversity of American dishes, from sweet to spicy, and seafood to meat. Every state has found a way to take advantage of what Mother Nature granted them. Choosing only 15 plates among the 50 America has to offer was not an easy task. So, for those who are still a little hungry, here you will find the 35 other delicious dishes.