The other day, the site My Food Looks Funny posted a pictorial representing what food each American state is known for. When I first glanced at the map, I couldn’t even make out South Carolina’s food.
Luckily the legend informed me that it was a benne wafer. For those of you who have never heard of them, a benne wafer is a thin cookie made with toasted sesame. Benne (the Bantu-word for sesame) was brought from East Africa and planted extensively throughout the South. The seed has a nutty, sweet aroma with a milk-like, buttery taste. When toasted, its flavor intensifies, yielding an almost almond- or peanut butter-like flavor.Having lived in both Massachusetts and (briefly) Hawaii, I agree with their associated foods: clam chowder and pineapple, respectively.
States that made me jealous were Maine (lobster), Vermont (Ben & Jerry’s ice cream), and New York (pizza). Should I move back North?
I had absolutely no idea what North and South Dakota’s were: knoeplah and chislic. Apparently knoeplah is a dumpling and chislic is cubed red meat. Anyone heard of either of these two?
What is your state’s quintessential food? Do you agree that your state should be known for it? And do you regularly eat it? I don’t think benne wafers should have been South Carolina’s food. I was expecting it to be grits!
I’m really hoping that one of my Utah friends can explain the green jello thing…