Most of us in Nebraska tend to have pretty simple tastes when it comes to our favorite food. We like it fresh, we like it flavorful, and – whenever possible – we like it homemade. I’ll bet you that if you’re a born and bred Nebraskan you’re pretty fond of at least most of these things. They aren’t loved ONLY in Nebraska, but they sure do taste better here than anywhere else.
Throw your best table manners to the side and forget about all of that barbecue sauce covering your face. Just dig in and worry about the napkins later.
...Or Anything Barbecue, Really.
Pulled pork is particularly popular.
I'm pretty sure I've never been to a picnic in Nebraska that didn't have baked beans.
...And Potato Salad, Too
Another picnic staple. Everyone's got their own favorite recipe. Mine is mustard potato salad with eggs and celery. Delicious!
Do I really need to elaborate on this one? We'll drink it fancy, we'll drink it cheap...we'll drink it in a box, we'll drink it with a fox...
Otherwise known as "those red hot dogs," Wimmers are always a staple at cookouts and tailgating parties. It's a shame about the West Point factory closing, but luckily the parent company plans to keep making the legendary dogs.
Seriously. Cheese sandwiches with mayo, breaded and fried? There is nothing not to love about these sandwiches.
Dorothy Lynch Dressing
I mention Dorothy Lynch in almost every food list, but come on - this stuff is magical. Mix it with mayo for the best french fry dip you'll ever taste. Use it in a pasta salad for a distinctive tang. And it may sound weird, but it MAKES a taco salad. I can't eat a taco salad without it, and neither should you.
We'll eat fast food burgers if we absolutely have to, but there's nothing better than a fresh-grilled burger in your own backyard. (And that had better be Dorothy Lynch mixed with mayo in that little dipping cup for the fries.)
Fish fries are easy to find around Lent, and eating there is usually way cheaper than going to a restaurant. Don't worry, though - you can find fried fish year-round in Nebraska.
A lot of people have said that they didn't realize hamburger pizza was more or less a regional thing until they moved out of Nebraska. You can get it in other states, but it's just not the same.
A lot of Czech immigrants settled in Nebraska, so kolaches have been around for a very long time. They're starting to gain a big fan base all around the country - some people think they'll be as big as cupcakes were a few years ago. Interesting tidbit: the world's largest kolache was made in Prague, Nebraska in 1987. It weighed 2,605 pounds and was 15 feet in diameter!
All the flavors, all the time, with any meal. Kool-Aid is magic in a pitcher.
Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches
If the tenderloin actually fits on the bun, you're doing it wrong.
This amazing sandwich was invented here, but don't think we eat it just out of loyalty or pride. It also happens to be incredibly tasty.
Apples Straight From the Tree
Not to mention apple pie, apple cider, apple turnovers, apple crisp...I can't wait for harvest time!
Mmmm...bread pockets stuffed with meat. Special hat tip to the immigrants who brought this recipe to Nebraska many generations ago.
Right after corn, it's the food we're best known for.
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
This is pretty much a staple at family dinners. Who doesn't like fluffy mashed potatoes drowning in rich gravy?
Corn on the Cob
We grow the best corn, and we sure know how to cook it, too. The little corn-shaped holders are optional, but they somehow make the corn taste better, don't you think?
Honorable mention goes to rhubarb crisp, which people seem to either love or hate. I could eat an entire pan of it myself…and I usually get to because no one else in my family will touch it. 🙂
So what do you think, Nebraska? Which other foods are universally beloved across the state?