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What Is Your State's Signature Thanksgiving Side Dish?


"we’re not aware of any other salad that combines pasta, fruit, eggs, whipped cream and marshmallows."


Millions of Americans in all 50 states will sit down to Thanksgiving dinners on Thursday. While the classic menu of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy still dominates most Thanksgiving tables, the New York Times found there are side dishes which may say more about where you live than you might expect.

From Alabama's "Lucy Buffet's Oyster Dressing" to Wyoming's "Three Sisters Stew," the Times offers readers more than a description of the dish. The paper also includes a detailed recipe for anyone with the time or inclination to add a little regional side dish to his or her dinner table.

There are sides that make sense when you consider the state associated with them. For example, Vermont, known for its cheddar cheese, makes that state's "Vermont Cheddar Cheese Mashed Potatoes" a natural. According to the recipe, the key to the perfect mix of the potatoes and cheese should produce a casserole that is "neither overwhelmingly cheesy nor gooey."

And then there are side dishes with names that appear to be a joke. South Carolina's "Salty Pluff Mud Pie" sounds suspicious, but the recipe contains a mouth watering combination of sugar, evaporated milk, honey and cocoa powder. The pie's colorful name comes from the term South Carolinians use to describe the muddy sediment on the bottom of the region's tidal marshlands.

Can you guess which states are associated with these side dishes? (We will post the answers below.)

  • Grape Salad
  • Shrimp-Stuffed Mirlitons
  • Mochi Rice Stuffing
  • Garam Masala Pumpkin Tart
  • Pocket Dressing
  • Caramel Budino with Chex Topping

The Times followed up the story of unique side dishes by diving into states' food preferences based on search data provided by Google.

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The list of most-googled food items in each state reveals some curiously named dishes. For example, "frog eye salad," which is popular in several states (Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and Utah) and a mixture that the Times described by saying, "we’re not aware of any other salad that combines pasta, fruit, eggs, whipped cream and marshmallows."

North Carolina's most-searched recipe is something called "pig pickin cake," a dessert that contains not one bit of pork.

If you want to know the side dish for your state, check out the entire list of 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia here.

The entire list of most-googled dishes for each state can be found here.


Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.


  • Grape Salad is from Minnesota
  • Shrimp-Stuffed Mirlitons are home to Louisiana
  • Mochi Rice Stuffing is native to Hawaii
  • Garam Masala Pumpkin Tart calls Washington, D.C. home.
  • Pocket Dressing comes to us from Kentucky
  • Caramel Budino with Chex Topping is frequently spotted on Thanksgiving tables in Utah
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