States Plate by Plate: Oregon

The definitive dishes and food moments every state has to offer

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States Plate by Plate: Oregon

National pride may run high on today’s holiday, but state pride in Oregon gives patriotism a run for its money. If you’re not from there, you may think of it as a land filled with tattoo-emblazoned cool kid chefs, shops selling genitalia-shaped donuts, and cutesy picnics on Pendelton blankets under Douglas firs.

Those aspects of Oregon food culture are accurate and nifty and everything, but it’s a big-ass state with so much more than the coast and the Portland metro area. It’s got deserts, wine country, ranching, and a bunch of libertarian rednecks who live miles away from the nearest pour-over coffee. (I used to live in Oregon, and I say all of these things with the deepest of affection.)

The co-existence of these things—popular perception Oregon and secret Oregon—is precisely what makes Oregon so special. Being there, you feel like anything could happen and still totally make sense. For food lovers, this is especially exciting, because Oregon is rife with people in the culinary field who ride those waves of creativity.

Click through the gallery to see how the past, present, and future of Oregon’s food culture weave together to make it one of the most delicious destinations to visit (and, perhaps, not ever leave).

Sara Bir is Paste’s contributing food editor. She will gladly skip Voodoo Doughnuts for the applesauce rings at Annie’s Donuts. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @sausagetarian.