In good times and bad, people have always made desserts. Sweets are a treat that many of us look forward to, and throughout history, home cooks have created cakes, pastries, pies, and other decadent fare for their families and loved ones utilizing whatever ingredients were plentiful at the time. (This is the best donut shop in every state.)
Some traditional American dessert recipes were brought to the States by immigrants – the Japanese in Hawaii, the Danes in Wisconsin, the Czechs in Nebraska, etc. Some quintessential Southern desserts, like sweet potato pie, were created by slaves from West Africa who used sweet potatoes to replace the yams they grew back home.
Before sugar was widely available, many households sweetened desserts with molasses, which led to the popularity of confections like molasses cookies and shoofly pie. Regionally produced ingredients like huckleberries, maple syrup, and key limes have also influenced the creation of local delicacies in small pockets of the U.S.
Drawing on a variety of culinary websites and regional sites and cookbooks, 24/7 Tempo has compiled a list of the most iconic desserts in every state. Many of these are culinary traditions that have been passed down through generations locally and are little-known in other parts of the country – while others have gained nationwide and even international popularity. (Dessert and otherwise, here are the most iconic foods every state has given the rest of the U.S.)
Desserts like the hot fudge sundae and strawberry shortcake may need no introduction, but read on to find out what states love possum pie, scotcheroos, and peppernuts.
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