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The Most Iconic Hyper-Regional American Dish in Every State

These are foods you can only get at home — and you wouldn't have it any other way.

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Regional Foods Are Trending

Think about where you grew up: was there a food that everyone in your town ate and loved that none of your other friends from other states have ever heard of? We’re guessing the answer is yes. America is a patchwork of hyper-regional food traditions that appeared over time for all sorts of reasons. Some came from specific restaurants. Others arrived where immigrants settled, and the dishes have evolved over time. Now, people are making their favorite hyper-regional dishes on TikTok, hashtagging them, and they’re blowing up and becoming trends on a national level. We’ve rounded up a hyper-regional recipe from every state that you may or may not know.

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Photo: Matt Armendariz

Alabama: White Barbecue Sauce

This creamy, tangy barbecue sauce is made from mayonnaise, vinegar, horseradish and a teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. If you live in the state, you can buy it bottled; if you don’t, it’s easy to make at home.

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Photo: Rosa María Fernández Rz/Getty Images

Alaska: Akutuq

The Inuit people of Alaska have been making this frozen creamy dish, which some liken to ice cream, for thousands of years. Traditionally, reindeer fat, seal oil, water or freshly fallen snow and berries or other local specialties were slowly whipped by hand until a foamy, frozen delicacy forms. Nowadays, versions are often made with shortening instead of animal fat.

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Arizona: Prickly Pear Margaritas

Margs are big in Arizona. The vibrant purply-pink prickly pear twist is made with the fruit of a cactus that is native to the state. For out of towners, you can easily buy prickly pear syrup and frozen prickly pear puree.

get the recipe

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