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Rank of States By Its Food/Drink; Part III

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Posted by Don, Dueling Bubbas on July 11, 2014 at 15:17:54:

In Reply to: Rank of States By Its Food/Drink; Part I posted by Don, Dueling Bubbas on July 11, 2014 at 15:13:49:

24. Florida
Florida jokes are so easy. It’s like, “BLAH BLAH BLAH EVERYONE IS CRAZY OR OLD; SUBPRIME MORTGAGES, ELIAN GONZALEZ”. But the thing is, the Sunshine State has some moves. For one, they get a lot of that sunshine, and so they grow those famous Florida oranges and those famous key limes, and less famously, starfruit, which are in season nearly year-round. On top of that, Miami’s whole Cuban influence means delicious sandwiches, arroz con pollo, and the like. And -- when you get away from South Beach -- they’re starting to do good things on the cocktail front. But yeah, it’s still Florida, though, so that had to factor in.

23. Minnesota
Surly’s was at the forefront of a damn fine brewing scene, but really this ranking is about the glorious innovation that is the Juicy Lucy. Any chump can melt cheese ON a burger, but it takes vision to put it INSIDE the burger. For such achievements you get a pass on that suspect-looking hot dish stuff.

22. Wisconsin
Cheese! ALL the cheese. Fry it and dip it in ranch dressing! Do they have vegetables in Wisconsin beyond bratwurst-bound grilled onions? Who cares?! Wash it all down with one of the beers that made Milwaukee famous, or better yet, some New Glarus.

21. Pennsylvania
Even if they throw batteries at EVERYONE, you can’t argue with the fact that Philadelphia is a veritable food/drink powerhouse, what with cheesesteaks, roast pork, Philadelphia Distilling, and the seeming thousands of quality restaurants. And don’t sleep on Pittsburgh either! We love Bar Marco, and AMERICA LOVES FRIES IN SANDWICHES! Penn breweries like Victory, Troegs, and Stoudt's also play a factor, but, look, not everyone has what it takes to be in the top 20.
20. Michigan
It's weirdly the original home of the coney hot dog, which always confuses the hell out of everyone else. Also, if you’re up above the Mitten, try their pasties (the meat pies, not the stripper nipple covers). Detroit-style pizza actually manages to be quite distinct and delectable while living in the shadow of another Midwestern style. Additional points (well, this isn’t really point-based, so… “points”) for its farmer’s market cred (Michigan cherries, morel mushrooms, and the like) and for being on the short list of the best beer states in the country on the strength of outfits like Bell’s, Founders, and Kuhnhenn.

19. Mississippi
Thanks to its geographic neighbors, the Magnolia State reps a staggeringly good slew of deep-fried Southern and soul-food gems, like catfish and pork chops, plus the étouffée, po' boys, and jambalaya of the state to the South. But Mississippi is also famous for its bountiful pecan trees, caramel cakes, and Gulf crabs and shrimp. They also have award-winning barbecue, and even an astonishingly active and interesting hot tamale trade in the Delta, due to the blending of African American and Mexican immigrant cultures. And you can enjoy all that with local booze, since recent legal change means a rise in breweries (the OG Lazy Magnolia, but also Crooked Letter, Southern Prohibition, and others).

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