Thanksgiving dinners across the country have a lot in common, but we thought it would be fun to imagine what regional specialty or local delicacy each state would bring to the table. From vino from California’s wine country to New York-style pumpkin cheesecake, here’s what we came up with.
Creamy, cheesy, peppery grits are topped with spicy gulf shrimp in a signature southern dish—Alabama shrimp and grits—which can include andouille sausage, bacon, collard greens, or tomatoes.
AZ puts its southwestern spin on traditional turkey by wrapping it up in an enchilada.
Cali would bring some Chardonnay for basting the turkey and sipping as it cooks, and another bottle of Pinot Noir to serve with dinner.
The Mile-High state would bake a cannabis-infused green bean casserole that’s green in more ways than one.
No one would get mad at Connecticut for bringing lobster rolls, which were invented by Perry’s restaurant in Milford, CT, in 1929, but since the New England state is nicknamed The Nutmeg State, perhaps they should be in charge of yams.
Chicken and slippery dumplings are a specialty in Delaware’s Sussex County, which was once the top producer of poultry in the country. Also known as slickers or slickies, slippery dumplings are a cross between a flat dumpling and a thick noodle. Perhaps this recipe could be adapted for leftover turkey?
While Key lime pie is usually reserved for warmer months, no one can resist this tart treat, filled with a creamy custard that’s made with fresh little limes from the Florida Keys.
A staple of native Hawaiin cusine, poi (a mixture of pounded taro and water) joins signature starches such as mashed potatoes on the Thanksgiving table.
The Hoosier State sweetens the deal with its staple sugar cream pie. Also known as Hoosier pie or Indiana cream pie, this custard-based treat has most of the ingredients in its name, with the exception of vanilla and a buttery, flaky crust.
Iowans can put some of the corn they put up this summer into a delicous corn pudding.
Instead of surf and turf, Maine is serving up surf and turk(ey) with some fresh lobster, hand-caught off the Atlantic coast.
Maryland-style crab cakes made with blue crab sourced straight from the Chesapeake Bay and a generous sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning add to the seafood smorgasbord that New England is supplying.
Even though Minnesota is the top turkey producer and wild rice is its state grain, the Land of 10,000 Lakes will be contributing its unofficial state cuisine, the hot dish, to our Thanksgiving spread. Wondering what differentiates a hot dish from a casserole? “Casseroles use lighter meats such as tuna and chicken, while hot dishes use red meat, such as ground beef,” according to one source.
Named after the muddy banks of the mighty Mississippi River, Mississippi Mud Pie is basically chocolate topped with more chocolate, which we all can truely be thankful for.
The Show-Me State would show us some gooey butter cake, which has been a sweet St. Louis tradition for nearly a century.
Huckleberries grow wild on subalpine slopes, forests, bogs, and lake basins all over Big Sky Country, so Montana can bake us a nice huckleberry pie out of these pricey purple berries.
Nevada wanted to bring the whole Sin City buffet but settled on a simple shrimp cocktail.
Cider donuts are popular all over New England, but New Hampshire produces over 24 million pounds of apples annually, so we’ll put them in charge of bringing these doughy delights for a post-Thanksgiving brunch.
Cranberries are a classic component to traditional Thanksgiving dinners across the country, which is convenient since the US produces more cranberries than any other country. Somewhat surprisingly, a bunch of those cranberry bogs are located in none other than New Jersey. Here’s a fun fact to bust out around the Thanksgiving table this year: It takes 200 of the tiny tart red berries to make one can of jellied cranberry sauce!
A pumpkin twist on the Empire State’s classic cheescake will put you in a New York State of mind.
Fried okra is a southern staple, so the Sooner State can bring this traditional side dish.
Rhode Island’s shore is rife with Quahog clams which can be stuffed with a mixture of chopped clam meat, veggies, bread crumbs, and spices and baked to make one of the state’s signature dishes—stuffies.
Since South Carolina is the birthplace of sweet tea, we’ll let them brew this beverage. The secret sweet tea is making a simple syrup to combine with the brewed tea, instead of stirring in sugar and then adding water.
The Volunteer State is volunteering to get us wasted on apple pie moonshine after dinner.
Texans can’t eat a meal without chips and salsa, so they can add a little Tex-Mex flavor to our cornucopia, with a little queso just in case.
Utah is the state that brings that lumpy green cottage cheese Jello salad that no one wants. Miracle Whip doesn’t belong anywhere near lime Jello or pineapple, people!
VA may be for lovers, but it’s also for country ham, which is what this state is contributing to our pilgrim potluck. Also known as Smithfield ham, Virginia ham is salt-cured and aged instead of wet-cured and smoked.
Nothing is as American as apple pie, and Washington is the largest producing state for apples in the US by a long shot.
The cheesiest state gets to make the mac and cheese!
The Equality State is equally egalitarian when it comes to sweet and salty. Wyoming is walking into the festivities with a tray of cowboy cookies— the perfect amalgamation of oats, chocolate chips, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts.