Here in Iowa, we have some famous (not to mention delicious) dishes that are unlike anything else you will experience. From our top-notch tenderloins to our delectable Dutch letters, here are 18 dishes you have to eat in Iowa at least once before you die:
1. Pork tenderloins
If there is one dish in Iowa that you must try before you die, it's one of our famous Iowa pork tenderloins. You won't find one like it anywhere else.
2. Maid Rites
Another tried-and-true Iowa classic is the Maid Rite, a loose meat sandwich that was first created in Iowa. Maid Rites are a staple in any true Iowan's diet.
3. Steak de Burgo
Steak de Burgo is a Midwest specialty, specific to the Des Moines area. You won't see too much of this dish outside of Iowa - but boy is it good.
4. Morel mushrooms
A delicacy in Iowa, morel mushrooms are hunted - and anyone lucky enough to find a good batch will take them home and fry them up for a delicious Iowa-style treat.
5. Ham balls
If you're not from Iowa, make sure you marry into an Iowa family so you can experience the heavenly taste of a ham ball.
6. Pella bologna
Pella bologna is another tried-and-true dish that only we Iowans are lucky enough to get to enjoy on a regular basis.
7. Dutch letters
Along with their bologna, Pella offers some of the most delicious desserts - mainly the Dutch letters at Jaarsma Bakery. If you've never had one of these, you haven't lived.
Scotcharoos are another Iowa favorite, and you can find these at any sort of event - from a school bake sale to a family reunion.
9. Puppy chow
Mention making a batch of puppy chow to someone from out-of-state and you'll get a weird, semi-disgusted look. Mention it to an Iowan and they will instantly ask you to share.
10. Twin Bings
Made in Sioux City, Twin Bings are honestly addictive - and if you've never had one.... Well, that's okay because that means more for us...
11. Blue Bunny ice cream
Blue Bunny ice cream, made by Wells Dairy out of Le Mars, offers some of the best ice cream around. Make sure you've had a sundae from their parlor in Le Mars at least once in your life!
12. AE cottage cheese
AE cottage cheese and AE chip dip are just two delicious AE products we Iowans love.
13. Sterzing's Potato Chips
Speaking of AE chip dip, that goes pretty great with some deliciously crispy Sterzing's potato chips, made in Burlington.
14. Iowa sweet corn
If you've ever had Iowa sweet corn, any other sweet corn you eat from then on tastes like plastic in comparison. Delicious and buttery Iowa sweet corn is like heaven on a cob.
15. Muscatine melons
If you live in Iowa and have never had a Muscatine melon, there's no excuse - go out and pick one up, you can thank us later.
16. Breakfast pizza
One delicious food invention born in Iowa is the breakfast pizza, most notably, the Casey's breakfast pizza. Once you've had it, you'll keep coming back for more.
17. Taco pizza
Taco pizza is another one of the many delicious foods born in Iowa. The first taco pizza was served by Happy Joe's, and since then, it's become a classic which has been re-created by countless pizzamakers - though Happy Joe's still does it best.
18. Pizza topped with ranch
And, of course, something we Iowans love to do is put ranch dressing on literally everything. If you've never had pizza with ranch, you need to try it at least once in your life. In fact, you'll probably end up doing it every time you have pizza.
What are some more famous Iowa dishes you have to try before you die? Share your thoughts with us!
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