With 57% of Americans snacking at least once per day, it’s safe to say we like our snacks. From coast to coast, every state boasts its own favorite, iconic, or even official snacks. Here’s a breakdown of notable snacks, treats, and noshes from every state.
Alabama: Moon Pie
Sandwich soft marshmallow filling between two crunchy graham crackers, cover the whole thing in chocolate, and you’ve got yourself a moon pie. This tasty treat may be made in nearby Chattanooga, Tenn., but it’s no wonder it’s been an Alabama favorite since 1917. Alabama residents love moon pies so much, that they dropped a 12-foot one from Mobile’s RSA BankTrust Building to ring in the New Year.
Alaska: Salmon Jerky
The Last Frontier is the first choice in wild-caught salmon. Slow smoked for at least 24 hours over woods such as cherry or alder, salmon jerky packs smoky salmon flavor plus heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids in every bite.
This snack, of Mexican origin, involves stuffing corn husks with masa (a corn dough) and other sweet or savory ingredients. Tamales especially popular around the holidays—so much so that many Phoenix restaurants take bulk orders for festive family gatherings.
Arkansas: Fried Dill Pickles
Sure, you can fry up a big burrito, so why not little pickle slices too? That’s what Duchess Drive-In’s Bernell “Fatman” Austin understood in 1963 when he started selling battered, deep-fried slices of dill pickles for 15 cents a basket. Today fried pickles are an Arkansas staple and a main attraction of the annual Picklefest, held every May in Atkins.
California: Avocado Toast
The crunch of a fresh-baked slice of toast made from an artisanal loaf of bread. The rich creaminess of avocados grown right in California. It’s only fitting that avocado toast takes the gold for an anytime meal or snack in the Golden State.
Colorado: Rocky Mountain Oysters
Breaded, deep-fried, crunchy, smooth, tender, and savory. This beloved snack of the land-locked state isn’t made of shellfish, though. Instead, rocky mountain oysters refer to thin-sliced calves’ testicles. As a tasty favorite across Colorado, they’re even available at Coors Field when the Colorado Rockies play. Because, hey, what better snack to enjoy at a ball game?
Connecticut: White Clam Pizza
How can a pizza crust be both charred and chewy at the same time? Connecticut pizza makers like Frank Pepe have mastered the art of the thin crust. They also know that when it comes to toppings, the sea is the limit. A white clam pie combines perennial pizza favorites—garlic, olive oil, Romano cheese, and parsley—with briny, tender clams.
Delaware: Vinegar Fries
Delaware beachgoers flock to this tangy, salty, and savory fry variety, typically served sans ketchup. Boardwalk fry shops, including Thrashers, pour on apple cider vinegar like a summer thunderstorm—just the thing to make hot, fresh-salted French fries the perfect beachside snack companion.
Florida: Key Lime Pie
Fresh-pressed lime juice is combined with egg yolk and milk, baked in a graham cracker crust, and topped with a thick springy pillow of white meringue. The result? The beautiful balance of sweetness, creaminess, and tanginess of the world-famous key lime pie originally invented in Key West. In fact, key lime pie is considered such an icon of the Sunshine State that Florida declared it the official state pie in 2006.
Georgia: Boiled Peanuts
Georgia grows nearly half the country’s peanuts, so it’s no surprise Georgians know how to bring out the best in their official state crop. While boiled peanuts sound simple, their delectable flavor comes from more than boiling water. Salt and various blends of spices add loads of flavor. In places such as Augusta’s Finch & Fifth, the water is even replaced with beer for the ultimate beer nuts.
Hawaii: Shave Ice
The Aloha State is hot, tropical, and often sunny. What better way to hydrate than to dig a spoon into a pineapple-sized mound of flavored, fluffy ice shavings? The best shave ice is made with real fruit syrups such as guava, lychee, passion fruit, and mango. And if the person at the counter asks if you want a buttery sweet scoop of macadamia nut ice cream at the bottom, the answer is yes.
Idaho: Baked Potatoes
Ever since 1937, Idaho has been working hard not only to grow its famous potatoes but to also make sure Americans know Idaho potatoes are top of the farm. The Northwestern state also gets its share of chilly weather, and that’s when it’s time to heap up a hot, fresh-baked potato with fixings such as cheddar cheese, sour cream, butter, or even caramelized onions or sliced steak. Or, you know, all the above.
As America’s number-two corn producer after Iowa, Illinois is proud corn country, with production topping 2.28 billion bushels in 2018. Plenty of those luscious kernels get dried and popped, making popcorn the official state snack in 2003.
Indiana: Hoosier Pie
Combine butter, salt, flour, cream, vanilla, and brown sugar (though some swear by maple syrup). The end result? The sugar cream pie is known across Indiana as the Hoosier pie or the Indiana cream pie. Local legend says Hoosier pie came about in 1816, the same year Indiana was founded.
Iowa: Walking Taco
So, you’re walking around the Iowa State Fair and you’re hungry—hungry for tacos. But tacos aren’t exactly the most fair-friendly fare. Luckily, there’s a genius solution that allows you to walk and talk with your “taco” in hand. In an open bag of crushed corn chips (usually Fritos or Doritos) you add taco fixings such as ground beef, cheese, salsa, sour cream, and fresh or pickled jalapeños. Then you enjoy your walking taco while on the move.
Kansas: Cinnamon Rolls
What do you do when your state is America’s largest wheat producer? If you’re Kansas, which produced 333.6 million bushels of wheat in 2016 alone, you bust out the butter, cinnamon, and sugar and make some big, fluffy, buttery cinnamon rolls.
Kentucky: Bourbon Balls
With 68 distilleries in 2018, Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world’s bourbon. Sure, that bourbon is great in a glass … but it’s also great in chocolate. A mainstay of institutions such as the Kentucky Derby, bourbon balls combine butter, chocolate, sugar, nuts, and, of course, bourbon for a sweet spiked treat.
Hot, fried, sweet dough—it’s as simple as it gets with this New Orleans staple. The signature donut-style Louisiana treat comes coated in powdered sugar and pairs perfectly with a cup of chicory coffee for maximum Cajun-style snacking.
Maine: Lobster Roll
If you think Maine equals lobster, you’re not alone. And when it comes to lobster snacks, nothing is more iconic than an authentic Maine lobster roll. In 2015 alone, Red’s Eats, a small shack on Route 1 near Wiscasset, served up 14 tons of lobster in six months.
Maryland: Berger Cookies
From its birthplace in Baltimore, the cake-like Berger Cookie is finished with a hand-dipped layer of thick, German-style chocolate fudge. A crumbly shortbread serves as the platform for the main event: the thick chocolate top that’s a cross between fudge and frosting.
Massachusetts: Hoodsie Cups
Fill half of a small, waxed-paper cup with vanilla ice cream and add chocolate to the other half, and you have yourself a classic Massachusetts treat: the Hoodsie Cup. From their headquarters in Lynnfield, Mass., Hood has produced the iconic snacks since 1947.
When Cornish immigrants began to settle the Upper Peninsula in the late 1800s, they brought along one of their most beloved snacks: the Cornish pasty. Stuffed handheld pies are one of a Michigander’s best defenses against the harsh Michigan winter. These handheld meat and vegetable pies are typically stuffed with beef, onions, potatoes, and rutabagas.
Minnesota: Blueberry Muffins
Sure, Minnesota might also be known for its hot dish casseroles, but when Minnesotans want a snack, they go for blueberry muffins. Packed with berries grown right there in the North Star State, blueberry muffins are so popular in Minnesota, the state legislature adopted them as the state’s official muffin in 1988.
Mississippi: Cheese Straws
Combine flour, butter, and cheddar cheese to form a dough, slice it into strips, and bake it. So simple—but like many of the greatest snacks, so delicious. Mississippi cheese straws are as savory and crunchy as Mississippi is Southern.
Missouri: Toasted Ravioli
St. Louis gets the credit as the birthplace of a true snack innovation. Breaded and crispy, these fried, cheese-filled pillows are topped with marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese, whether they’re eaten for a big snack, an appetizer, or a main course.
Montana: Huckleberry Ice Cream
Huckleberries, a tart, round, sweet, fruit similar to blueberries, only grow in the wild and are common in many western and northwestern states. This treasure of the Treasure State adds rich purple color and a tart kiss to Montana’s favorite huckleberry ice cream.
Nebraska: Tin Roof Sundae
Tucked in a corner of western Nebraska just north of I-80, the small village of Potter is home to a big ice cream treat. Combining savory and sweet flavors and smooth and crunchy textures, the Tin Roof Sundae starts with chocolate ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce, then adds a scoop of vanilla ice cream and warmed marshmallow cream. Topped with skin-on Spanish peanuts, the Tin Roof will raise your roof for ice cream snacks.
Nevada: Shrimp Cocktail
Hang shrimp from the rim of a sundae glass and put a dollop of cocktail sauce in the center and you’ve got yourself a shrimp cocktail. Today it may sound simple, but this quintessential snack was a big innovation when Las Vegas’s Golden Gate Casino first introduced it in 1959.
New Hampshire: Maple Candies
The Granite State, a renowned producer of maple syrup, turns some of that amazing crop into soft, fudge-like maple candies, too. Once heated and shaped, the syrup transforms into bite-sized bombs of maple flavor.
New Jersey: Saltwater Taffy
Oddly enough, saltwater taffy isn’t made with salt. Local legend says that one day a high tide flooded a beachside stand, leaving the candy salty. A girl got a piece of candy and called it saltwater taffy—and the name, like the taffy, stuck.
New Mexico: Bizcochito
As Spanish settlers made their way to the area that would later become New Mexico, they began to develop a crunchy yet soft cookie made with lard or butter and gently spiced with anise and cinnamon. Today bizcochito (or biscochos, if you’re in southern New Mexico) accompany everything from coffee breaks to special occasions.
New York: Apple Muffin
From the Big Apple to the Finger Lakes, apples are a big deal in New York. In fact, the apple muffin was declared the Empire State’s official muffin in 1987.
North Carolina: Krispy Kreme Donuts
From the original donut shop in Winston-Salem, the light, airy texture and sublimely sweet glaze of Krispy Kreme donuts have made their way across the nation. North Carolinians still keep an eye out for when the iconic “HOT NOW” light is on—though like anything else nowadays, there’s also an app to tell you when a fresh batch of donuts is ready.
North Dakota: Chippers
Potato chips are salty and crunchy. And you know what goes great with salty and crunchy? Chocolate. This snack, available in chocolate, white almond, or peanut butter coatings, was originally invented by Carol Widman’s Candy in Fargo.
You never know what will inspire an iconic snack. Perhaps surprisingly, the Buckeye State’s namesake nut is actually poisonous. But the chocolate-dipped, peanut butter-filled candy known as the buckeye is creamy, sweet, and delicious.
Oklahoma: Fried Okra
Think okra is slimy? Only if it’s cooked incorrectly. Done right, fried okra is smooth and crunchy and has a vegetal, slightly bitter note. You can find this golden-brown snack throughout Oklahoma.
Oregon: Marionberry Pie
Ever since its introduction in the 1950s, the sweet-tart Oregon marionberry has been considered the most delicious blackberry ever. And among the best ways to enjoy marionberries? In a thick, jammy, purple slab of marionberry pie.
The Keystone State takes cookies so seriously, it has struggled to declare any one cookie the official state cookie. Over the years the legislature has faced three choices—the chocolate chip cookie, Nazareth sugar cookie, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. So far, all cookies have equal standing in Pennsylvania.
Rhode Island: Pizza Strips
Also known as “red strips,” Rhode Island’s pizza strips come void of cheese and no toppings. Nonetheless, pizza strip makers top the long, narrow strips of crust with a tangy red sauce, making for a tasty, savory, filling snack.
South Carolina: Pork Rinds with Pimento Cheese
Pork rinds, or cracklings, are curly, fried pieces of pork and pig skin. South Carolinians love dipping these airy, crunchy treats in another Southern standby: pimento cheese dip.
South Dakota: Chislic
Like the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, you’ll only find chislic in South Dakota. The bite-sized pieces of grilled or fried red meat—usually mutton or lamb—are seasoned with garlic salt and get a nice crunchy coating from saltine or soda crackers.
Tennessee: GooGoo Clusters
While circular, the Nashville native GooGoo Cluster is basically a bumpy candy bar filled with caramel and marshmallow nougat, topped with roasted peanuts, and covered in milk chocolate. Prior to the advent of the GooGoo cluster, candy bars were made exclusively or chocolate, caramel, or taffy, making this treat the first combination candy bar.
Texas: Chips and Salsa
Salt and pepper. Texas and brisket. Chips and salsa. Some things just go together. Texans love the combination of tangy spicy salsa and crunchy tortilla chips so much that in 2003 the Texas State Legislature declared the combo the official state snack.
In 2001, Utah state senator Leonard Blackham made the case for Jell-O to become the state’s official snack food. “Whereas, Jell-O is representative of good family fun, which Utah is known for throughout the world,” he said. It’s no surprise either. Whether straight up or with mix-ins, Utah has the highest per-capita consumption of the wiggly treat in the country.
Vermont: Apple Pie with Cheddar
Vermont may be the eighth smallest state in the country, but every year its hard-working apple farmers produce 40 million pounds of apples. And many of those apples—along with Vermont-made cheddar cheeses—find their way into flaky, tart, cheesy apple pie crusts. While some folks like to say that “apple pie without cheese is like a hug without the squeeze,” Vermont’s love of apple pie with cheddar is even a matter of state law: A 1999 law requires apple pie vendors to make a “good faith effort” to serve apple pie with a slice of cheddar weighing a minimum of a half an ounce, though a scoop of ice cream or a glass of cold milk can also be acceptable.
Virginia: Peanut Soup
The South’s long tradition of peanut soup actually begins across the Atlantic in West Africa, where peanut soups have been a long-standing delicacy. From kitchen tables to fine dining mainstays such as Hotel Roanoke, peanut soup combines broth, garlic, greens, peanut butter, and chopped peanuts for a rich, savory, soothing masterpiece of a soup.
Washington: Half-Popped Popcorn
While this popcorn variety isn’t a rock-hard kernel, it’s not fluffy, movie-theater-style popcorn either. Throughout Washington state, you can find half-popped popcorn with some of full-pop’s fluff, but with more body, density, and chew. Brands such as Seattle’s Halfpops have spent years fine-tuning the perfect combination of variables such as moisture content and temperature. Then they flavor the final goodness with butter, sea salt, or white cheddar.
West Virginia: Pepperoni Rolls
When the Mountain State’s coal miners braved hard, long days in the dark, they packed snacks. Italian immigrants are said to have hit upon the savory combo of sliced or unsliced pepperoni baked inside a bread roll dubbed the pepperoni roll. From convenience stores to school lunch lines, you can find this snack everywhere in West Virginia—but elsewhere it’s rarer than a diamond in a coal mine.
Wisconsin: Fried Cheese Curds
Wisconsin’s dairy farmers make 26% of the nation’s cheese. No matter how it’s prepared for sale or use, there are always some cheese curds left over. Cheese curds (usually made from cheddar) are what doesn’t make it into a mold to form a wheel or block of cheese. And as with so many tasty, savory snacks, a trip through the deep fryer only makes matters tastier. The moist, salty curds keep a springy texture that’ll keep you coming back for more.
Wyoming: Cowboy Jerky
Don’t worry, cowboy jerky isn’t made from cowboys, it’s just another name for beef jerky (though some brands also use bison). Wyoming-made jerkies favor more concentrated, bigger flavors, and extra chew—making this jerky an excellent snack choice all year long.
Coast-to-coast snack time deliciousness
From coast to coast, every state has a fascinating, tasty snack that reflects the state, its history, and its native fare.