Since Nebraska is pretty much in the middle of the country, we’re lucky enough to have culinary influences from all over. Many of our favorite state foods are recipes passed down from one generation to the next, but we’ve also got some uniquely Nebraskan treats that just about everyone here seems to love.
Whether it's in the form of a pulled pork sandwich, a big plate of ribs, or some melt-in-your-mouth brisket, we'll never say no to a plate of great BBQ.
Well, when you live in the beef capital of the country, you grow up loving a great steak. What can we say? It's in our genes. Bonus points if that steak is cooked on a backyard grill.
3. Corn on the cob
Mmm...boiled, steamed, or grilled, there's nothing quite like sinking your teeth into an ear of corn that you just shucked yourself that day.
4. Fried chicken
If you grew up on a farm, you've likely got memories of actually chasing down and catching the chickens that would become Sunday dinner. Even if you always got your chicken from the supermarket, fried chicken is a staple of Nebraska cuisine.
These pocket sandwiches stuffed with beef, cabbage, and onions were adapted from an old European recipe that was brought here by our ancestors. Today they're the main menu item at a chain of popular fast food restaurants located mostly in Nebraska.
...but not just any pizza. Nebraskans are oddly loyal to our favorite pizza places, whether they be Valentino's, Godfather's, La Casa, or the locally-owned restaurant down the street. (By the way, the cheeseburger pizza pictured above is a tried-and-true Nebraska favorite, possibly invented by Godfather's Pizza.)
7. Fresh watermelon - and all of the other delicious treats summer has to offer
It's just not summer until you dig into your first wedge of sweet, juicy watermelon. We're also pretty in love with fresh tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, muskmelons, strawberries, and anything else we can eat straight out of the garden.
8. Jello salad
A lot of us have a love/hate relationship with this odd gelatinous treat. On the one hand, taking a bite of fruit-flavored Jello mixed with fruit chunks and Cool Whip tastes just like childhood. On the other hand, this particular combination of flavors and textures definitely isn't for everyone.
It's not a dish, per se, but Kool-Aid was born right here in Nebraska and we've never stopped loving it. In my house, we pull out the little canister of Kool-Aid packets and vote on which flavor to make. The only catch is that all of the choices are cherry, because that's clearly the best one.
10. Anything with Dorothy Lynch dressing on it
While we're cheating a little and naming things that aren't exactly "dishes," let's throw this Nebraska classic in there. It's kind of like French dressing, but a million times better. It's tangy, it's sweet, and it's the perfect addition to just about any meal.
11. Fresh fried fish
A lot of us prefer to catch and clean them ourselves. But even if we let someone else do all of the work, fried fish is definitely a favorite here in Nebraska. Particularly during Lent, you'll find community fish fries every Friday night all across the state.
12. Reuben sandwiches
Here's another Nebraska creation that we've really embraced. New Yorkers like to claim they came up with this magical combination of flavors, but they're very, very wrong.
13. Breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches
You could technically make or order these any time of the year. But isn't it more special when you wait until county fair time and order one from every single church stand - you know, for scientific comparison reasons?
14. Chili with cinnamon rolls
Based on previous articles in which we've mentioned this combination, the state seems split 50/50 on whether this is a thing. We can assure you that this was a popular combination on a lot of Nebraska school lunch menus in the past, and Runza restaurants serve it every winter. You'll even see this combo on the menu at plenty of small-town restaurants.
Whether you love these foods or not, you’ve got to agree that these are some true Nebraska classics. What other dishes did you grow up loving? Tell us about them in the comments!
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