Special Report

The Most Iconic Foods Every State Has Given the Rest of the US

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Alabama
> Iconic food: Fried green tomatoes

Although this classic Southern side dish wasn’t invented in Alabama, it became an iconic staple at restaurants across the state after Alabama author Fannie Flagg’s popular novel “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe” was made into a movie.

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Alaska
> Iconic food: King crab legs

Alaska supplies 29% of the world’s crabmeat, including the sought-after Alaskan king crab, which can weigh up to 24 pounds. Their meat is known to be sweeter than other crabmeat, making them a favorite at seafood restaurants nationwide.

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Arizona
> Iconic food: Chimichangas

Two Arizona restaurants claim that their founders invented the chimichanga independently of each other — one in 1922 and the other in 1946. Either way, this deep-fried burrito has become a signature dish in the region.

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Arkansas
> Iconic food: Fried pickles

Deep-fried dill pickles were invented in 1963 near the Atkins Pickle Plant by Bernell “Fatman” Austin, owner of the Duchess Drive-In in Atkins. Although the plant and drive-in are now closed, Austin’s family still serves fried pickles at the town’s annual Picklefest.

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California
> Iconic food: Cobb salad

This classic salad featuring hard-boiled eggs, bacon, tomatoes, and chicken, was invented in 1937 by Bob Cobb, owner of the Brown Derby Restaurant in Los Angeles, when he threw together some leftovers for himself as a late-night snack.

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