Arizona January 07, 2016
Everyone In Arizona Absolutely Loves These 13 Food And Drinks
Arizona is a bit of a melting pot when it comes to what our traditional cuisine looks like. Traditionally, Arizona’s cuisine was heavily influenced by its Indigenous and early Mexican settlers. Once Americans began migrating in from the South and the Midwest, those cuisines have also been added to the mix, as well as foods from other immigrants over the decades until now.
That is why it can be difficult to determine just what Arizonans consider food favorites; a favorite food can depend on the region you grew up in, how long you have lived here, and your family’s background. What I consider favorites and staples, which leans heavily towards Indigenous and Mexican foods, may not be what others would have in mind. However, let’s take at these more traditional Arizona foods that I hope most residents have enjoyed at least once.
Also known as “burros” by Arizonans, you can find these as an ultra-portable meal or as a fork-and-knife meal drizzled in sauce and cheese any time of day. Unless it is too dependent on rice or potatoes for fillings, you will have a hard time finding one that doesn't satisfy your cravings
2. Cheese crisps
These are not the same as quesadillas, which are folded over. A cheese crisp is a tortilla topped with cheese then baked until crispy.
Supposedly an Arizona invention, take that delicious burrito mentioned above and toss it in a deep fryer. Yum!
4. Fry Bread
Although not specific to Arizona, you'll still find a whole lot of restaurants, food trucks, and households that offer this on their menu. Eat it plain with a touch of salt, a drizzle of honey, sprinkled with powdered sugar, heaped with beans and cheese, or wrapped around your favorite slice of meat. It's all delicious.
5. Locally brewed beers
Four Peaks was just sold and the jury is still out on how Anheuser-Busch is going to affect this local favorite. However, for all you brew lovers, there are still plenty of other local options such as Oak Creek Brewing in Sedona and Lumberyard in Flagstaff.
I used to work in restaurants and restaurant bars so I can tell you that margaritas, especially in summer, are a popular choice. Frozen, on the rocks, or straight up, everyone has their own preference.
Unless you make it at home whenever you want, you will probably only find this soup available on the weekends (or even just Sundays) in restaurants. Why? One of the main ingredients is tripe (beef stomach), which is tough unless cooked down, and the soup takes hours to cook. It's also known as a hangover cure, so I assume most people will want to enjoy a bowl of this after a fun Saturday.
8. Navajo Tacos
There are two camps here: those who call this the Indian taco and those who call it the Navajo taco. Everyone I know calls them Navajo tacos so you can consider that the correct version. 🙂
9. Posole (or hominy stew)
The ingredients will vary depending on if you get a Mexican or a Native version of this dish but at its essence, it is a hearty soup delicious with fresh, hot tortillas.
10. Shaved ice (or raspados)
Depending on where you are in the state, you probably know this as shaved ice, a snow cone, raspados, or even Eegee's. Either way, its an essential summer treat.
11. Sonoran hot dogs
A hot dog wrapped in bacon and topped with pinto beans, onions, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and mustard in a roll is divine.
12. Sun Tea
My mom used to make sun tea pretty often when I was growing up but I think the drink has gotten a bad rap lately for the possibility of growing bacteria. If you're worried, you can essentially get the same flavors through a cold brewed iced tea. Prepare it the same way but leave the container in the fridge overnight.
Did you go to one of the tamale festivals last month? If not, don't worry because there are still plenty of places to get one of these delicious foods.
What other foods would you consider Arizona favorites? Share your thoughts with us!