When CQ Roll Call launched Taste of America in 2011, the participation and enthusiastic feedback exceeded our expectations. Readers wanted to see their state food advance to the finals. We received a lot of questions though—specifically, how come my state was paired with this food?
Food is as much a personal preference as it is cultural. It’s arguably overly simplistic to choose one food item to represent an entire state. We wanted to improve Taste of America in 2012 by selecting foods that had an origin, official designation, or significant production in each state. The idea was a success!
Thus similar to last year, next to each selected food, you can find a rationale as to why the food was chosen. For example, "pulled pork BBQ" is the official state meal for Oklahoma, making this an easy selection for Taste of America. However, Ohio designated "buckeyes" as the official state symbol, so we’ve taken some artistic liberties and listed the peanut butter and chocolate combination called "buckeyes" as their Taste of America entry.
Taste of America is paired with the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity. Whenever possible, we’ve tried to include foods that would be well suited to a ballpark.
And across the 50 states, there are inevitably some overlaps, as apple-themed desserts are listed for more than one state (apples being the state fruit for four different states, and a fifth state lists "apple pie" as its official pie). Two different states claim to be the inventors of corn dogs. So what does this mean for our champion? Vote and see—we'll announce the winner at the Taste of America reception at Nationals' Park on June 13, 2013.
Send your thoughts to TasteofAmerica@cqrollcall.com or via twitter #cqrctoa2013.