Every state has its own regional cuisine, but agreeing on what that cuisine is or which state truly lays claim to which foods can be a matter of debate. Is Missouri better known for its Kansas City barbecue or St. Louis’s toasted ravioli? Does the lobster roll belong more to Massachusetts or to Maine? Foursquare thinks they have the answer.
The app that has recently been trying to reinvent itself sifted through their data, looking at “menus, tips, ratings and more” before “normalizing for size against other states.” To make the final distinction on “American’s Most Popular Tastes” by state, “the editorial team reviewed the data and selected the winning taste that is most special and unique to each state.” The result is an interactive map displaying which “food or drink is most disproportionately popular in each destination.” You can even click on each state to find a percentage of just how much more popular the item is in that state over the national average.
Some findings are obvious: Pennsylvanian look for “chicken cheesesteak” more than any other state. As a former PA resident, my guess is that it’s a lot, lot more. (Foursquare says its 1,085 percent above the national average.) Louisiana, of course, is into crawfish. But a few are a bit unexpected, like California’s love of Chinese chicken salad and New York’s recent obsession with avocado toast making it the state’s representative food. Oh, and for a chuckle, Nevada’s favorite food is “bottle service.”
Of course, we’ve seen maps like this before, and none of them are “official”—Foursquare admits they got their editors involved. But, hey, it’s a lot more exciting than just seeing “Chipotle” for like 35 of the 50 states.