Special Report

The Most Iconic Product in Each State

16. Kansas
> Most iconic product:
Wheat

Churning out an average of 328 million bushels a year, no state produces more wheat than Kansas. Most of the wheat grown in Kansas is hard red winter wheat, which is used mostly for bread and all purpose flour. With unfavorable weather conditions, Kansas’ wheat production and the quality of the wheat crop have fallen dramatically over the past few years. However, this year there was a slight improvement.

17. Kentucky
> Most iconic product:
Bourbon whiskey

The U.S. government designated bourbon as a distinctive product of the United States, the only spirit to enjoy such a distinction. To legally name whiskey bourbon, the alcohol must be made in the United States from at least 51% corn. It has to be distilled at less than 160 proof and have matured in charred white oak barrels for a minimum of two years. Finally, nothing must be added except for water to the mixture. While it is not a formal requirement, bourbon has historically been produced in Kentucky.

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18. Louisiana
> Most iconic product:
Shrimp

Louisiana shrimpers netted more than half of the 9.5 million pounds of shrimp caught in the Gulf of Mexico in July 2014. Shrimping, both commercial and recreational, has long been a way of life in Louisiana. While the industry was initially threatened following the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, shrimp populations have actually increased since and the shellfish has been deemed safe to eat once again.

19. Maine
> Most iconic product:
Lobsters

Maine lobstermen caught more than 120 million pounds of lobster in 2014. Maine lobstermen have been landing enough of the crustacean to earn the state the distinction of being the No. 1 lobster-producing region in the world. Every year, about 30,000 people flock to Rockland for the annual Maine Lobster Festival.

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20. Maryland
> Most iconic product:
Crabs

The blue crab can be found along Atlantic shorelines, from Canada to South America at different times of the year. However, the Chesapeake Bay is one of the few environments where the crab species can survive year-round. Over half of all hard shell crabs harvested in the U.S. come from the Chesapeake Bay. Consequently, crab has become Maryland’s signature fare.