The Most Questionable Foods From Each U.S. State

There is a wide variety of food to be found in different regions of the United States. This because each state has a different history and influences, the resources available to them, and what people grow up eating. While many U.S. citizens are jealous of other regions’ food, that’s certainly not always the case. There’s some food across the nation that most people have never heard of and would never even think about trying. These are the foulest, most questionable foods found across the United States.

Alaska Likes It Raw

Mixed berries and fat
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Referred to as Eskimo ice cream, Akutaq is a meal not meant to be eaten by vegetarians, or anyone who dislikes the taste of meat, especially when it’s raw. The word Akutaq means “to stir,” and it consists of animal blubber and mixed berries all whipped in together.

The blubber can come from anything readily available although whales and seals are typically used. There are rarely any spices involved in the preparation process so all you’re tasting is raw fat and berries. Enjoy!

Sturgeon Eggs Are A Favorite In Idaho

Caviar manufacturing
OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images
OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images

Although many of us would assume that the typical Idaho diet consists of a lot of deep-fried diner food, they’re actually a primary producer of American beluga or American caviar.

Most caviar in the United States is the eggs from massive sturgeon that reside in the rivers of Idaho. If you don’t think you can handle putting down some raw fish eggs, this dish probably isn’t for you. Oh yeah, it also sells for more than $100 an ounce!

Could You Stomach A Brain Sandwich?

Brain on bread
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Although they might not be as prominent in all parts of the state, brain sandwiches in Indiana are especially popular around the southern tip around Evansville. The Hilltop Inn is one of its biggest manufacturers.

Although they had to switch from cow to pork, luckily, the brain is breaded and fried and mustard is added for a little more flavor. Incredibly, chef Alton Brown didn’t seem to mind it all that much. It certainly isn’t for the faint of heart!

Raw Lobster Innards Aren’t Everybody’s First Choice

Scooping out the tomalley
Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

While a fair amount of people might agree that there’s nothing wrong with eating lobster, that’s usually because you’re only eating the good parts. In Maine, people are known to eat tomalley, or the lobster’s liver and pancreas.

While most people avoid eating these unappetizing green parts, Mainers are known to prefer this part of the lobster raw, although they have also been known to use it as a topping on their lobster rolls, or add it into soups and sauces.

Fried Turkey Legs Are Just Too Much

Woman at Disneyland
Yelp
Yelp

Yes, turkey is one of the more common meats ingested across the United States. However, taking down an entire deep-fried leg is just a little over-the-top. Unsurprisingly, one of the states that can’t get enough of this meaty meal is California.

Turkey legs can be found at almost any kind of fair or event with people eating well more than the recommended amount of food. Not only is this incredibly unappealing to look at, but people look like cavemen ripping the meat from the bone.

Minnesota: Home Of The Pickle Dog

Pickle wrapped in meat
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Usually served at the annual state fair once the snow has thawed, the pickle dog is a Minnesotan favorite. And no, it’s not a hot dog with a pickle on it either. It’s actually a single dill pickle cover with sauerkraut, dripped in Thousand Island dressing, and wrapped in thick-cut roast beef.

Although it may not look or sound appetizing, it’s apparently the perfect snack to grab on a warm Minnesota day at the state fair.

Cool Off With A Koolickle!

Different flavored koolickles
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Leave it to Mississippi to combine a pickle with Kool-Aid. Essentially, the snack is a pickle that’s been soaked in your preferred flavor of the sugary drink. Although many people shy away from grabbing one of these on the side of the road, many people swear by them, even those not from Mississippi.

You know what they say — there are few things more delicious than the combination of sweet and salty. These also must not be very hard to make!

Oversized Rodent, Anyone?

Nutria on riverside
Schellhorn/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Schellhorn/ullstein bild via Getty Images

It’s no secret that people eat quite a few questionable things in Louisiana. However, one of the strangest has to be nutria, a large webbed-foot semi-aquatic rodent that is simmered in a crockpot for many hours.

Although most people aren’t keen on eating oversized rodents, supposedly, it tastes similar to a rabbit (although not too many people can say they’ve eaten that either). If you’re going to give it a taste, try your best to not think about their horrifying yellow teeth while you’re chowing down.

Ham Hocks Are A Favorite In Georgia

Ham hocks on tray
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Although the name could mean a multitude of different things, ham hocks actually refer to a pig’s knuckles. There has been a long-lasting tradition in Georgia to put them in stews or even serve them on their own with some other classic southern sides such as collard greens.

According to many ham hock fans, they’re a bit of an acquired taste, so if you weren’t raised gnawing on a pig knuckle, chances are you won’t become a life-long fan.

New Haven Clam Pie Is An Interesting Combination

Clams on pizza
Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

When it comes to making pizza, most people try and stick with the basics, something most pizza connoisseurs also believe in. Sure, you can put just about anything you want on top of a pie, but most people’s first instinct is not to add clams.

Well, that’s exactly what they do in Connecticut, in a dish known as a New Haven clam pie. It’s basically what it sounds like, a pizza with clams baked onto the top of it. It may not look so pretty, but supposedly the taste makes up for it.

Liver Mush Is Exactly What It Sounds Like

Packaged liver mush
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Found commonly in North Carolina, this dish was unfortunate to have both the words “liver” and “mush” in its name, not exactly appetizing. Livermush is comprised of pig liver and parts of the head, and then it’s baked into cornmeal that makes it look like some twisted snack bar.

If you can get past the taste, the meal also comes served looking like a brick, so you have to cut off individual slabs to even eat it. A southern classic, most of the nation can go without it.

Lutefisk Has A Unique Smell And Texture

Lutefisk and other sides
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Lutefisk is a traditional Norwegian dish that has found a new home in North Dakota. It is an extremely gelatinous part of whitefish which is first soaked in cold water for five to six days, then soaked in a solution of water and lye for another two days.

It is then placed in cold water again for another five to six days until it is ready to be cooked and eaten. The fish is known, even in Scandinavia, for its extremely pungent odor which scares many people away.

Lamb Fries Is A Very Misleading Name

Lamb fries and sides
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

When people hear of lamb fries, chances are they’re thinking of some crispy french fries topped with slices of cooked lamb. However, in Kentucky, that’s not necessarily the case. No, in reality, they mean sheep testicles that have been parboiled, sliced in half, and then finished off in hot oil.

How you choose to dress your “lamb fries” to taste is up to you, but most people not from the area can’t get past what they’re putting in their mouths.

U Street Taco Is The Definition Of “Frankenfood”

Pizza wrapping chili
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Regarded as one of the best sloppy-drunk meals in Washington, D.C., the U Street Taco is quite the combination of food. After the explosion of the popularity of Ben’s Chili Bowl chili half-smoke, people decided to up the ante, and the U Street Taco was born.

The dish is a chili half-smoke which is then wrapped in a jumbo slice of pizza. “Aggressive” is an understatement, with being people being able to customize their own depending on where they pick one up in the city.

Who Ate The First Geoduck?

Geoducks in a water bath
Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The geoduck is a large, edible saltwater clam that is native to the coastal waters of western Canada and the northwestern United States. The largest burrowing clam in the world, it is also one of the longest-living animals with the oldest ever recorded being 168 years old.

Well, these massive clams became particularly popular to eat in the state of Washington, although nobody is quite sure why. We have to wonder who was the first person to decide they looked good to eat.

Vermonters Go Straight To The Source

Woman with cow's milk
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to know where your food comes from, sometimes it’s better for it to be processed than getting it directly from the source. Apparently, in Vermont, something the locals love to do is drink their cow milk straight from a cow’s udder without having it pasteurized first.

Although it might not be the worst thing that someone can do, we’re willing to bet that you’re taking a pretty serious risk with each sip of the milk. They’re not afraid to make cheese out of it either!

Chitterlings Have Their Own Festival

Plate of chitterlings
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If you’ve ever had a hot dog, chances are that it was encased in intestines. You’d also know that while that might sound repulsive, it actually tastes pretty good. Well, in South Carolina, chitterlings are a popular dish consisting of pig intestines and no filling, either fried or boiled.

The dish is so popular that there’s even an annual festival dedicated to it each year known as the Chitlin Strut, which strangely enough includes a beauty pageant. Chitterling lovers unite!

Jell-O Hasn’t Gone Anywhere In Utah

Chef unveils Jell-O salad
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images

Although Jell-O has significantly decreased in popularity over recent years, that’s not the case in the state of Utah, especially in Salt Lake City. Jell-O salads are still a common dish for Mormons to bring to church gatherings.

While maybe one or two pieces might be fine, it’s not unusual for multiple people to bring slabs of Jell-O with either fruit, vegetables, or both floating inside. Just imagine what a potluck in the 1950s must have looked like and you have the right idea.

Tennesse Can Thank Elvis For An iconic Sandwich

Fat Elvis sandwich
Keith Beaty/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Keith Beaty/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Elvis might be known for changing the course of music history and for his gyrating hips, but did you also know he’s responsible for a popular sandwich in Tennessee?

The Fat Elvis is made up of fried bread, peanut butter, banana, jelly, and bacon, making it obvious how he could have gained so much weight toward the end of his career. However, people seem to like it, even if they’re just saying that to pay their respects to the King.

Oklahoma Has A Fondness For Rattlesnake

Chef carving up rattlesnake
Lawrence Lucier/FilmMagic
Lawrence Lucier/FilmMagic

Although some people eat rattlesnake just about anywhere that it’s available, few places have festivals dedicated to fried rattlesnake. Oklahoma is one of those places and there are multiple annual rattlesnake-lover gatherings, such as the Apache Rattlesnake Festival, or one of the many rattlesnake hunts.

Some of those who have dared try the poisonous snake have said it’s similar to chicken, although The New York Times described it along the lines of “sinewy, half-starved tilapia.” Just don’t try and hunt one down yourself!