Signature breakfast foods in every state
Americans love breakfast. A lot. They love the meal so much that once a day often isn’t enough. According to Marie Haaland of the New York Post, a large percentage of Americans admit to eating breakfast for dinner. The meal is an American staple and has become more of an event than a meal.
Yes, breakfast is a big deal these days, as evidenced by the wide popularity of brunch and the seemingly endless options on breakfast menus across the country. This wasn't always the case. In the early days of America, people started breakfast with whatever was readily available, from bread and eggs to leftovers, writes Dora Mekouar in VOA News. The meal was a matter of convenience.
That's not necessarily true anymore, as breakfast has grown into a great American pastime. Still, no matter what state you’re in, the breakfast dishes are deeply rooted in history and tradition. From recipes passed down through generations to fusions between European immigrants and Native Americans, from cowboy sustenance to remnants of our Mexican history, breakfast tables across the United States tell a story.
Stacker compiled signature breakfast dishes from all 50 states by looking at articles, agriculture, and historic trends that helped shape the cuisine of today. In fact, many of the breakfast items we know and love today have a fascinating backstory, which, as the U.S. is a land of immigrants, is true of many of the food dishes of which we wax nostalgic today. Whether it's traditional kolache from the Czech Republic in Nebraska, an Americanized breakfast burrito in New Mexico, or a sugary cinnamon donut anywhere in New England, Americans are passionate and proud about what is served each morning.
Do you know the most popular breakfast item in your state? Read on to find out.
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Alabama: Shrimp and grits
Shrimp and grits, while traditionally a favorite in the Lowcountry (the area along the South Carolina coastline), has become so popular in Alabama that it's served everywhere from holes-in-the-wall to decadent dining rooms, according to Bham Now’s Irene Richardson. The breakfast dish is essentially a porridge topped with plump, juicy shrimp, but each establishment has its own twist.
Alaska: King crab Benedict
Life in Alaska isn't for the faint of heart, so you can imagine that Alaskans are ready to fuel up every day. What are they tucking into? Seafood, of course. With more than 46,000 miles of coastline, Alaska lives (and eats) by the sea. Alaskan king crab legs are famous around the world, but serve them up on an English muffin, slathered in hollandaise sauce, and you're eating pure Alaska, writes Mara Severin in the Alaska Visitors Guide.
Arizona: Breakfast burrito
If Arizona does one thing well, it's Mexican-style breakfasts, particularly the breakfast burrito. It's really a northern Mexico dish, says Jeffrey Pilcher in an interview with FiveThirtyEight, hailing from states like Sonora, which just so happens to share a border with Arizona. In fact, Arizona was originally part of Mexico, along with California, New Mexico, and Texas.
Arkansas: Sweet rice
With Arkansas being the top producer of rice in the United States, it's no wonder the staple finds its way into every meal, including breakfast. Arkansas sweet rice is made with sugar, milk, butter, and sometimes flavoring like cinnamon, vanilla, or cocoa. It's very similar to rice pudding, according to The Daily Meal’s Matt Sulem.
California: Avocado toast
For something so simple as mashed avocado on bread, avocado toast has gained quite the cult following. Avocados are the "quintessential Californian food," writes Beatrice Aronson in The Daily Californian, so serving them up on toast was only natural for breakfast.
Colorado: Cinnamon rolls
What started at one truckstop has grown to become a statewide breakfast favorite. Johnson's Corner opened in the early 1950s, and around that time an employee began to sell homemade cinnamon rolls. The customer love soon followed, and today the truckstop bakes more than 15,000 cinnamon rolls a month.
Connecticut: Cider donuts
Delaware: Strawberry anything
Florida: Cuban breakfast
Cuban culture is at the heart and soul of southern Florida, with Cubans immigrating to its shores as early as 1896, according to The New Tropic. Today Floridians can't get enough of Cuban cuisine (or at least their spin on it). Start with a traditional cafecito and a pastelito, which is a baked puff pastry stuffed with sweet or savory fillings.
Georgia: Buttermilk biscuits
The buttermilk biscuit is the iconic breakfast staple all across Georgia, whether it's bookending a juicy breakfast sandwich or on the side of your eggs and bacon. Georgia buttermilk biscuits are so famous that even this grandmother has gone viral sharing her three-part video tutorial on how to make her own special recipe.
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