Follow along with this link to health.com's listing of The 50 Fattiest Foods in the States.
UPDATED -- Now with more Utah!
Montana -- Rocky Mountain Oysters: Ten years ago, I was on a business trip in Denver and took in a Rockies game at Coors Field. I'd heard there was a stand that sold these deep-fried calf testicles, but I couldn't find it and none of the locals seemed to know where it was. Ever since then, this has been my white whale. Verdict: Want
Nebraska -- Eskimo Pie: If your state's representative food can be found in the freezer at my 7-11, your state needs to try harder. (And, is an Eskimo Pie really just ice cream and a Nestle Crunch chocolate shell? I've never had one and I was imagining something...more.) Verdict: Don't Want
Nevada -- Buffets: I've never done Las Vegas "correctly". On my first trip, m'man Vig and I stayed at the decrepit Frontier. During my next visit, I stayed at Stratosphere which is as far removed from The Strip as one can get while still, technically, being on The Strip. My last two trips were for work and the highlights included a Las Vegas 51s game and meeting Mathan Erhardt. Verdict: Shrug
New Hampshire -- New England Clam Chowder: The best chowder I ever had was at a dive bar in Boston. It was served in the ceramic equivalent of a Dixie cup and cost $7.99, but it was spackle-thick with a red pepper finish. The six hours I spent bar-hopping there are the only six hours I've ever been in Boston and I'm not ashamed to admit the city's spectacular drinking scene is only the second best thing about some of their pubs. Verdict: Want (More)
New Jersey -- Fat Darrell: A knockoff of this Rutgers University staple was sold at this year's San Diego Fair. This sandwich is stuffed with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, marinara sauce, French fries, lettuce and tomato. Isn't this just a poor man's chicken parm with a semi-interesting back-story? Of course, I want it, but still... Verdict: Want
New Mexico -- Frito Pie: Fritos, chili, cheese...yeah, yeah, yeah...want, want, want. I would've written more, but I've inexplicably spent the last 10 minutes watching a collection of old, racist commercials. Verdict: Want
New York -- Garbage Plate: Home fries, macaroni salad, baked beans or French fries, topped with choice of meat (hamburger, cheeseburger, hot dog, sausage, chicken tender, fish, fried ham), and drenched in mustard, onions, and hot sauce, eh? Yes, no, no or yes, yes, no, yes, no. When it comes to the ingredients of my meal, your state needs to do better than a 1:1 yes/no ratio. Verdict: Don't Want
North Carolina -- Livermush: Described as "30% pig liver and a mixture of pig head parts and cornmeal". This is proof that not every slave invention should be mentioned during Black History Month. Verdict: Don't Want
North Dakota -- Fleischkuechle: This is just a beef patty wrapped in fried dough. As a Californian, my "beef wrapped in something fried" philosophy begins and ends with the chimichanga, but I'm open to this German import. Admittedly, my knowledge of Germany was heavily influenced by the historic events of 1985. Verdict: Want
Ohio -- Bob Evans' Sausage Biscuit Bowl: Home fries, eggs, sausage, sausage gravy...all four food groups are covered -- and smothered! -- for our gastronomic enjoyment. Hold the scallions, though. Do they not grow real onions in Ohio? Verdict: Want
Oklahoma -- Chicken-Fried Steak: My dad was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station in New River, North Carolina for four years. During that time, "chicken-fried steak day" in my elementary school's cafeteria held the same level of reverence with me as "pizza day" or "taco day". And, Lord, if tater tots were being served alongside the chicken-fried steak... Hard to believe I weighed 185 lbs. when I was 13. Verdict: Want
Oregon -- Brunchbox's Redonkadonk: So, the good people at health.com chose egg, ham, Spam, bacon and American cheese on a beef patty -- between TWO grilled-cheese sandwiches on Texas Toast bread, instead of the bacon maple bar at Voodoo Doughnut in Portland? Tragic. Verdict: Want (but, I want the bacon maple bar even more).
Pennsylvania -- Philly Cheesesteak: I doubt I've ever had an authentic cheesesteak, but I've spent a few decades devouring the ersatz versions served up here in California. Perhaps our versions aren't on par with Pat's and Geno's in Philadelphia; but steak, cheese and onions are universally delicious ingredients, no? Besides, even the locals can't tell the difference. Verdict: Want
Rhode Island -- New York System Hot Wieners: For the most part, I'm a hot dog toppings purist -- mustard, ketchup and onions. But, for a condiment that sounds as nutritionally poisonous as "ground beef sauce", I'm willing to keep an open mind...and mouth! In fact, if I ever write a book, that just might be the title. Verdict: Want
South Carolina -- Turducken: Turkey stuffed with duck stuffed with chicken stuffed with pork sausage stuffing. Like most of America, I'd never heard of this Island of Dr. Moreau mash-up until NFL broadcaster John Madden made this meal the centerpiece of the league's annual Thanksgiving Day disemboweling of the Detroit Lions. I'm not big on duck, but I'm intrigued to see how all the flavors would slowly meld. Verdict: Want
South Dakota -- Frybread: I had this a few weeks back at the San Diego Fair. I doubt it'll be knocking off the Corn Palace as the state's most famous food-based...uh, thing. Verdict: Don't Want
Tennessee -- Ruby Tuesday's Triple-Prime Bacon Cheddar Burger: My Google search for "Memphis barbecue" came back with 1,080,000 results. And, if I learned nothing else from this man, it's that Memphis is still in Tennessee, y'all. Verdict: Want...all 115(!) grams of fat.
Texas -- Corn Dog: During a business trip to Austin, Texas in 2002, my co-worker and I went to dinner at a steakhouse across the street from our hotel. I ordered chicken. Our server practically recoiled in horror as she told me, "No one comes here for the chicken, honey!" I imagine this is similar to the reaction I'd get if I visited Texas again and asked the first person I saw, "Where can I get one of those famous Texas corn dogs?" Verdict: Don't Want
Utah -- Scone: From the state that gave us Mrs. Bootleg. I love how the writer goes so far out of his way to differentiate these scones from the ubiquitous Starbucks accompaniment. In fact, according to the blurb, Utah's scones are more similar to...two foods that are synonymous with other states. If only it was this easy to renounce one's claim to
Vermont -- Ben & Jerry's Vermonster: 20 scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, bananas, cookies, brownies and other toppings of one's choosing. We're all family, so I can say this in front of you: if I ate this, I would never stop farting. Verdict: Don't Want
Virginia -- Ham: Not a ham fan. Not in a sandwich, not as an entree and certainly NOT served with Dr. Seuss' green eggs. My mother would serve ham on Easter and I remember, at a relatively early age, wondering why none of the otherwise delicious side dishes didn't seem to go with ham. Well, except yams...which I also don't like. Verdict: Don't Want
Washington -- Crab Louis Salad: I've repeatedly professed my love for those 1,000-calorie casual dining entree salads. Adding crabmeat, cocktail sauce, green olives and pimentos makes me want to schedule a return trip to Seattle. (Also, if anyone from Trader Joe's is reading this: you guys NEED to bring back those blue cheese-stuffed green olives. Please remove the awful pomegranate juice that Mrs. Bootleg brought home from your shelves and replace it with the aforementioned olives. Thanks.) Verdict: Want
West Virginia -- Hillbilly Hot Dogs' 10-Pound Burger: Hey, another grotesquely enormous hamburger! You've stopped trying and so have I, health.com. Verdict: Don't Want
Wisconsin -- Deep-Fried Cheese Curds: M'man Smitty has found a place or two here in Southern California that serves these up alongside a few pints of beer. I'll defer to his gluttonous wisdom, but I'm leery of anything with the words "fried cheese" that is only considered a regional dish. There HAS to be a reason the other 49 states aren't on board, right? Verdict: Want
Wyoming -- Lamb: "I can't eat this. I can't eat a poor, little lamb." Verdict: Want (I just like that episode of The Simpsons).