Arkansas February 01, 2018
10 Foods Every Arkansan Craves When They Leave Arkansas
Although there’s an endless supply of adventures to be had in Arkansas, sometimes we actually do venture out of state. Experiencing new cultures and different foods is always exciting but there’s some cravings that just can’t be satisfied unless you’re in Arkansas. Here are ten foods you’re sure to miss whenever you leave the state.
1. Chocolate Gravy
The exact origin of chocolate gravy is debatable but most food historians agree that the delicious breakfast sauce originated in the Ozarks. The southern staple is a go to for Sunday brunches all over the state. It's rumored that Elvis Presley acquired the taste for it during his time spent in Arkansas which is why it's a regular menu item at Graceland. Regardless of history, any Arkansan will feel like something's missing when they bite into a plain buttered biscuit during their travels.
2. Cheese Dip
Did you know cheese dip was another Arkansas original? Blackie Donnely was the first to bring the gooey goodness stateside and started serving it in his restaurant, Mexico Chiquito in the mid-1930s. Any Arkansan knows when they're being fooled with queso instead of cheese dip at an out-of-state eatery because a true Arkie cheese dip won't clump as it cools.
3. Sweet Iced Tea
Arkansans really have to restrain themselves from spitting out unsweet tea while traveling abroad. In our state, it's pretty safe to assume all tea will be served sweet and iced, preferably in a mason jar as well. Bless the heart of any unlucky Arkansan that's forced to use those undissolvable packets.
4. Possum Pie
Yet another Arkansas native food, a slice of possum pie will surely be missed when traveling out of state. The dessert staple is a delicious arrangement of cream cheese, pecans, whipped cream, with a hidden layer of chocolate custard. Although we know it's the hidden chocolate "playing possum" in the pie, most outsiders will just stare in disbelief that anyone would order a critter for dessert.
5. Fried Pickles
In 1963, Burnell "Fatman" Austin created fried pickles at The Duchess Drive-In in Atkins. It's unbelievable to think fried pickles don't appear on the appetizer menu of every restaurant in other states.
6. Purplehull Peas
The rest of the U.S. really needs to get on board with the fact that purplehull peas are superior to black-eyed peas. They would only need to attend the Purplehull Pea Festival in Emerson once to know that these are the best possible side dish to any meal.
7. Yarnell's Ice Cream
Yarnell's Ice Cream is one brand that Arkansans unknowingly take for granted. The Arkansas company began with a strong foundation in 1932, and with some ups and downs, is still sold statewide. If the freezer section looks off to you during your traveling snack restock trip, it's because the classic red containers are missing.
8. Cavender's Greek Seasoning
No Arkansan would ever turned down a home-cooked meal, especially as a guest. If you find yourself craving a subtle flavoring that's missing from supper it's probably because a certain seasoning is missing. Cavender's Greek Seasoning, the Harrison creation, is heavily used by us to season steaks, burgers, heck even popcorn.
9. Game Meat
It's second nature to an Arkansan to dive into the deep freeze and pull out a pound of backstrap for fried tenderloin. No matter if it's deer, duck, wild turkey, heck even squirrel, an Arkansan knows how to cook it. Unfortunately, not everyone else knows grandma's duck nugget recipe.
10. Sweet Watermelon
Folks from other states may try to satisfy your watermelon craving with their local fruit but we all know nothing beats an Arkansas watermelon. The best can be found around Cave City since the surrounding soil produces watermelons with a higher sugar content than those from out of state.
We know it’s good to get out and experience new things but an Arkansas meal is just about impossible to beat. What are some of your favorite native flavors? Share your favorites with us in the comments below!
If you’d like to enjoy all the cheese dip Arkansas has to offer, take
this road trip.