It’s hard to disassociate food from travel. Experiencing a locale’s culinary culture is half of the reason we hit the road. From New England’s clam chowder to Mississippi’s mud pie, these 10 dishes are named after places within the United States. While they may not be what each destination is most known for (even by culinary standards), they are all worthy enough to wear their state or city’s name.
1. Boston Cream Pie
Photo via Flickr / Kimberly Vardeman
Chef M. Sanzian invented this dessert at the Parker House Hotel (now the Omni Park House) in 1856. The Boston cream pie is a custard-filled and chocolate covered sponge cake, don’t let the name fool you. If you find yourself in Boston, pay a visit to Parker’s Restaurant at the Omni Parker House. They’re still serving up the official dessert of Massachusetts from the kitchen that invented it.
2. Buffalo Wings?
Photo via Flickr / Michael Saechang
This deep-fried chicken wing hails from Buffalo, New York. The dish is most commonly credited to Teressa Bellissimo, owner of Anchor Bar. The popular appetizer and bar food is typically slathered in a vinegar-and-cayenne-pepper hot sauce before being served with celery sticks and blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping. Anchor Bar is still open and hawking its original spicy wings. July 29, national Chicken Wing Day, would be a great time to visit.
3. Philly Cheesesteak?
Photo via Flickr / Phil Denton
?The Liberty Bell of Philadelphia’s food scene, the Philly cheesesteak includes hearty portions of thinly-slice steak and ?melted cheese (sometimes Cheez Whiz) served on a roll. Pat and Harry Olivieri are most often cited as inventors of the cheesesteak. Local legend has it they began selling it from their hot dog stand. After the cheesesteak began to catch on, Pat Olivieri opened Pat’s King of Steaks in 1930, which is still selling the famous sandwich today.
4. Texas Toast?
Photo via Flickr / Pink Sherbet Photography
Everything is bigger in Texas … and that includes the toast. Extra-thick Texas toast is made by slathering both sides of the bread with butter before broiling to a golden brown. The toast can be used as sandwich bread and as a popular side with barbecue and other Southern dishes. As far as who invented Texas toast, that remains contested.
5. New York Cheesecake?
Photo via Flickr / Katherine
Cheesecake is popular around the world and dates as far back as ancient Greece, but no variety (and there are many) is more famous than New York-style cheesecake. The Big Apple’s take on the cake includes decadent cream cheese (sometimes sour cream) and a crushed cookie or graham cracker crust. While other varieties are often embellished with chocolate, fruit or other toppings, classic New York cheesecake is served as is. Arnold Reuben (yes, of Reuben sandwich fame) is often credited with creating New York’s classic dessert. You won’t have any trouble finding a slice next time you’re in New York, but the iconic Lindy’s at Broadway and 51st Street is especially famous for its cheesecake.