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50 Hidden Gem Recipes from Every State

Discover new, noteworthy and nearly forgotten recipes from your home state.

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Taste of Home

We dug through our archives to find the quirky and surprisingly delicious foods that make each state unique. From the Third Coast’s spicy giardiniera to New Mexico’s Frito-topped pies, these are the hidden gem recipes from across the US.

Up next: Find the best small-town restaurant in your state.

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Alabama: Charlotte’s Green Tomato Pie

Green tomato pie makes an awesome conversation piece. I took it to a potluck and it was a delight to share. —Charlotte McDaniel, Jacksonville, Alabama
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Alaska: Salmon Party Spread

We're proud to serve our delicious Alaskan salmon to guests. Set out some crackers, and this slightly smoky spread will be gone in no time! —Kathy Crow, Cordova, Alaska
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Arizona: Arizona Cornbread

Unlike other cornbreads, this one uses yeast. With oil and sour cream, this moist, tender loaf has a bit of zip to it from the peppers. —Margaret Pache, Mesa, Arizona
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Arkansas: Southern Fried Okra

Golden brown with a little fresh green showing through, this fried okra recipe is crunchy and addicting! My sons like to dip them in ketchup. —Pam Duncan, Summers, Arkansas
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California: Asian Slaw with Steak

Main-dish salads are so perfect for summer, especially this one with its Asian-inspired dressing—my favorite's favorite flavor. The colorful slaw and juicy steak combo is super quick and wonderful for breezy weeknight dinners. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Colorado: Green Chile Ribs

I like my food with a spicy kick; my wife does not. These ribs with green chiles suit her taste. For more firepower, add cayenne or jalapenos. —Guy Newton, Nederland, Colorado
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Connecticut: New England Bean & Bog Cassoulet

When I moved to New England, I embraced the local cuisine. My cassoulet with baked beans pays tribute to a French classic and to New England in one hearty, heartwarming dish. —Devon Delaney, Westport, Connecticut
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Delaware: Cream Cheese-Pineapple Pie

I've made this pie many times for friends, relatives, guests, church suppers and bazaars, and I'm always getting requests for the recipe. I've lived on farms all my life—we used to have a potato farm on Long Island, and now my son farms his own land and manages mine here in Delaware, growing soybeans and wheat. —Elizabeth Brown, Clayton, Delaware
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Florida: Lemon Orange Cake

Florida: Lemon Orange Cake

I like to bake this lovely three-layer lemon and orange cake instead of a more traditional pie for Thanksgiving. It has that tangy Florida citrus flavor and isn't any more difficult to make than a two-layer cake. —Norma Poole, Auburndale, Florida
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Georgia: CokeCola Cake

We live in Coca-Cola country, where everyone loves a chocolaty, moist sheet cake made with the iconic soft drink. Our rich version does the tradition proud. —Heidi Jobe, Carrollton, Georgia
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Hawaii: Pineapple Pie with Coconut Cream

You’ll find pineapples and coconuts everywhere in the South Pacific, so we play them up in this creamy cool pineapple pie, dolloped with coconut cream. Divine! —Karen Naihe, Kamuela, Hawaii
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Idaho: Huckleberry Cheese Pie

To us Idahoans, huckleberries are a treasure. My family enjoys this recipe a lot, and I serve it as a special treat when we have guests. —Pat Kuper, McCall, Idaho
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Illinois: Chicago-Style Hot Giardiniera

I've been living in Chicago for the last 12 years and have grown to love the spicy giardiniera served at restaurants. So I developed my own to use at home. We love it on everything from eggs to sandwiches and even pizza! —Andrea Quiroz, Chicago, Illinois
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Indiana: Persimmon Squash Pie

I created this recipe for our local persimmon festival, using homegrown squash. Make sure the persimmons are ripe! I like to use a few extra toffee bits and pecans in the garnish. —Betty Milligan, Bedford, Indiana
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Iowa: Stuffed Iowa Chops

Here's a hearty dish for big appetites. The corn and apples make a tasty stuffing for the chops. —Judith Smith, Des Moines, Iowa
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Kansas: Sausage-Apple Breakfast Bread

To make breakfast a little more satisfying, I added sausage to a sweet quick bread. Serve this bread warm, nestled next to your favorite scrambled eggs. —Anita Hunter, Stilwell, Kansas
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Kentucky: Buttermilk Cake with Caramel Icing

This fabulous cake and caramel frosting are so tender, it melts in your mouth. It's been a family favorite since the '70s and it goes over really well at church potluck meals. —Anna Jean Allen, West Liberty, Kentucky
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Louisiana: Creole Cornbread

Cornbread is a staple of Cajun and Creole cuisine. This version is an old favorite, and it really tastes wonderful. I found the recipe in the bottom of my recipe drawer. —Enid Hebert, Lafayette, Louisiana
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Maine: Blueberry Upside-Down Skillet Cake

Living in Maine, I am lucky to have an endless amount of wild blueberries. This recipe's similar to a pineapple upside down cake. It's easy, light and also great with cranberries. —Nettie Moore, Belfast, Maine
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Maryland: Copycat Berger Cookies

After a friend who had recently traveled to Baltimore sent me a package of Berger cookies, I was hooked. They disappeared so quickly, I decided to try to re-create them at home. After many tests and tweaks, my husband and I gained 6 pounds between the two of us, but it was worth it—I landed on a reproduction of the famous cookie I'm so proud of. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California
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Massachusetts: Frosted Maple Cookies

Living in New England, I've come to appreciate the unique qualities of our area. Many people here enjoy the flavor of maple in their recipes, and I love this adaptation of an old favorite. —Connie Borden, Marblehead, Massachusetts
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Michigan: Michigan Cherry Salad

This recipe reminds me what I love about my home state: picking apples with my children, buying greens at the farmers market and tasting cherries on vacations. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
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Minnesota: Northwoods Wild Rice Salad

This is my Minnesota version of a vintage German slaw that’s popular at church suppers. The wild rice has a nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with tangy sauerkraut. —Jeanne Holt, St. Paul, Minnesota
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Mississippi: Ribbon Pudding Pie

Cool, smooth and creamy, this pretty pie is a slice of heaven for people with diabetes and anyone who likes an easy yet impressive dessert. The lovely pudding layers feature a yummy combination of vanilla, chocolate and butterscotch. —Doris Morgan, Verona, Mississippi
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Missouri: Ozark Mountain Berry Pie

I think the best berries in the world are grown in the Ozarks. We own a small berry farm, and this is one of my favorite recipes. It's delicious served warm. —Elaine Moody, Clever, Missouri
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Montana: Tourtieres

Some time ago, a co-worker brought a meat pie to lunch. The aroma was familiar—after one taste, I was amazed to discover it was the same pie my grandmother used to serve when I was a youngster! She shared the recipe, and I have been enjoying it ever since. —Rita Winterberger, Huson, Montana
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Nebraska: Nebraska’s Stuffed Beef Sandwiches

When I moved to Nebraska, I discovered many ethnic foods that I had never heard of before. A friend introduced me to this runza recipe, a German-Russian beef sandwich, and it quickly became a family favorite. —Dolly Croghan, Mead, Nebraska
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Nevada: Heavenly Greek Tacos

The first time I made these, my fiance and I were in heaven! I don’t think I’ve ever said “mmm” so many times. —Meagan Jensen, Reno, Nevada
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New Hampshire: Sweet Corn Creme Brulee

The starch in corn acts as a natural thickener for this dessert and adds an extra sweetness. The caramelized sugar crust and fruit garnish make for a lovely presentation.—Maryanne Jensen-Gowan, Pelham, New Hampshire
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New Jersey: Fried Prosciutto Tortellini

My take on Italian street food, these fried tortellini are crunchy, gooey good. For the sauce, use the best quality tomatoes you can find. —Angela Lemoine, Howell, New Jersey
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New Mexico: Frito Pie

Frito pie is legendary in the Southwest for being spicy, salty and cheesy fabulous. Here’s my easy take on this crunchy classic. —Jan Moon, Alamogordo, New Mexico
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New York: Spiedis

This is our favorite cookout dish, and it's very good served with a salad. This recipe originated here in my hometown in the 1930s. Our meat preference for speidis is venison, but we use chicken and beef when it's not available. —Gertrude Skinner, Binghamton, New York
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North Carolina: Black Walnut Cookies

Black walnuts, which have a more distinctive flavor than traditional English walnuts, have a short shelf life. It's best to store them in the freezer. —Doug Black, Conover, North Carolina
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North Dakota: Grandma’s Sour Cream Raisin Pie

The aroma of this pie baking in my farm kitchen oven reminds me of my dear grandma who made this pretty pie for special occasions. —Beverly Medalen, Willow City, North Dakota
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Ohio: Carrie’s Cincinnati Chili

Every time we have a gathering or company, folks request this. My husband convinced me to enter it in a local chili contest, and I won third place! It's quick and easy. If I don't have fresh garlic, I use minced garlic from a jar. —Carrie Birdsall, Dallas, Georgia
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Oklahoma: Potato Chip Clusters

Just three offbeat ingredients add up to one unique, delectable, no-bake treat. These super easy, sweet-and-salty candy clusters make for merry munching during holiday trips or parties. They travel well in containers without melting or getting soft. —Donna Brockett, Kingfisher, Oklahoma
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Oregon: Oregon’s Best Marionberry Pie

I believe Oregon marionberries make about the best berry pie in the world. And when you add some cream cheese and flavorings, you'll be making the best even better! —Frances Benthin, Scio, Oregon
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Pennsylvania: Ham Balls with Brown Sugar Glaze

These smoky-sweet meatballs are a Pennsylvania Dutch specialty. I like setting them out when folks come to visit. —Janet Zeger, Middletown, Pennsylvania
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Rhode Island: Coffee Milk

It's the official state drink of Rhode Island, and once you taste it, you'll understand why it has so many fans! —Karen Barros, Bristol, Rhode Island
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South Carolina: Grits Pie

Simple, southern and scrumptious, this pie will be a definite hit even with people who dislike grits. It has the perfect custardy texture.—Victoria Hudson, Pickens, South Carolina
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South Dakota: Coffee-Braised Roast Beef

This recipe has been a family tradition since 1974. The meat is quick and flavorful, so it's a nice welcome home after a long day of work. The coffee adds an intriguing flavor to the roast, and the juices can be thickened for a delicious gravy.—Nancy Schuler, Belle Fourche, South Dakota
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Tennessee: Raisin Pecan Pie

I remember my Grandmother Voltie and Great-Aunt Ophelia making this southern-style pie for Thanksgiving. It was always one of the many cakes and pies lined up for dessert. —Angie Price, Bradford, Tennessee
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Texas: Texas Chili Fries

The delicious chili goes together in minutes and then cooks while you run errands. The only way to make it even better is to pour it over crisp french fries and sprinkle with cheese. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Utah: Sparkling Cider Pound Cake

This pound cake is incredible and completely reminds me of fall with every bite. Using sparkling apple cider in the batter and the glaze gives it a delicious and unique flavor. I love everything about it! —Nikki Barton, Providence, Utah
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Vermont: Chewy Maple Cookies

My husband, Bob, and I have a small sugaring operation with Bob’s father. I love to put some of our syrup to use in these golden cookies. — Reba Legrand, Jericho, Vermont
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Virginia: Oyster Fricassee

I oversee the gardens at Colonial Williamsburg. We've learned that the colonists had a ready source of oysters from Chesapeake Bay. I enjoy this rich, creamy casserole, a special dish from this area's holiday recipe collection. —Susan Dippre, Williamsburg, Virginia
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Washington: Naked Fish Tacos

This is one of my husband's all-time favorite meals. I've even converted some friends to fish after eating this. I serve it with fresh melon when it's in season to balance the subtle heat of the cabbage mixture. —Elizabeth Bramkamp, Gig Harbor, Washington
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West Virginia: Smothered Round Steak

Try less expensive round steak and gravy served over egg noodles for a hearty meal. Meaty and chock full of veggies, this slow-cooker creation will take the worry out of what's-for-supper any weeknight. Kathy Garret - Camden, West Virginia
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Wisconsin: Wisconsin Butter-Basted Burgers

It’s no secret that Wisconsinites love their dairy—so much that they sometimes top their burgers with a generous pat of butter. My recipe is a lot like the butter burgers you’ll find in popular restaurants all over the state. —Becky Carver, North Royalton, Ohio —Becky Carver, North Royalton, Ohio
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Wyoming: Arizona Cornbread

These big country cookies are made to travel—in fact, I came up with this recipe while trying to match a commercial cookie that was good, but too crumbly to carry. —Jamie Hirsch, Powell, Wyoming

Nicole Doster
Nicole is a writer, editor and lover of Italian food. In her spare time, you’ll find her thumbing through vintage cookbooks or testing out recipes in her tiny kitchen.

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