Talk about keeping things simple. When you live in a laid-back place like Hawaii, you don’t even want to work too hard for your sweet treats. To make some shave ice (no, not “shaved” ice), you shave a chunk of ice down into tiny little pieces and top it with flavorful syrup and other sweet pieces. It came to the small island state from Japanese immigrants, who called it Kakigori, originating at some point between the eighth and twelfth centuries.
These immigrants went to Hawaii to find work, also discovering a ready market for what became known as shave ice. It soon became a common sight all over the state and featured prominently when it came to trade agreements with the United States before Hawaii became an official part of the country.
Florida – Key Lime Pie
Quick history lesson: “rickets” is a disease that you can contract when you lack the proper amount of Vitamin D in your diet. Sailors at sea would often contract this disease, and to combat it, they would carry barrels of citrus fruits like limes to keep their crew in tip-top shape. Back in the day, Florida revolved around the trade lines, which meant that limes were always in high demand.
Thus, they became a cash crop, and people quickly realized you can make some swell pies out of them, too. The difference between a key lime pie and a true Florida lime pie is the extra-tart fresh lime juice instead of store-bought lime extract. It gives these pies a good bit of zing when you finally chow down.
Georgia – Peach Cobbler
How is a pie different from a cobbler? Well, good news for you peach fans – the cobbler variety is even easier to make. Georgia has long been known for its peaches, and that means if you’re ever in the state, pick up some cobbler and enjoy yourself. Pies are made from pastry dough, while cobbler is a biscuit batter.
In addition, pies are fully around the filling, while cobblers are usually only a top layer. Really, this dessert is VERY easy to make, as long as you’re accustomed to making batters and slicing up peaches. And who isn’t these days? Peaches with bigger pits like Freestone peaches are the best option since it’s easier to remove the pits – they also tend to be sweeter and have a stronger flavor.
Idaho – Ice Cream Potato
This is a strange one. Found from a couple of specific drive-ins, if you travel to Idaho you can get something called an “ice cream potato.” Before you recoil in disgust, let it be known that there are no actual potatoes in this recipe. It’s made by taking some vanilla ice cream in the shape of a potato, splitting it down the middle like a baked potato usually is, and dusting it with cocoa powder.
Once you add things like whipped cream and chocolate shavings (as well as almost anything else you could want) you have a treat that looks just like something that might grow in the ground but certainly doesn’t taste like it. All you really need is ice cream, cocoa powder, and your favorite toppings, so this is the kind of treat you might be able to make right now.
Illinois – Popcorn
If you’ve ever been to Chicago and wanted something sweet, you might have been surprised to find that the go-to isn’t ice cream or cookies, but popcorn. Of course, popcorn is beloved all over the world, but Illinois has been doing some fun stuff with it for a while now. You can get your classic buttery popcorn or something fun like caramel corn.
But if you really want to get the real Chicago taste during your movie time, then you’ll need a mixture of caramel popcorn and cheese popcorn. This, along with the addition of traditional season popcorn, was actually trademarked as something called “Chicago Mix” in 1988 by Candyland, Inc. The most famous place to get this treat is The Garrett Popcorn Shops which have been making popped corn since the '40s.