What do Mainers consume more of than people in other states?
For those of you who read Lisa Haberzettl’s post from last week, no, I’m not talking about alcohol. For the sake of this particular blog post, we’re focusing on food, and despite what people across the country may think, we don’t actually eat more lobster than other Americans.
Co. Design and the food industry analytics firm Food Genius teamed up to comb through a database of 59 million menu items to determine the most relatively popular foods for each state — specifically, which food Mainers, for instance, serve a higher percentage of the time than the national average.
In Maine, haddock shows up on 39 percent of the database entries, compared to a paltry 2 percent across the rest of the United States. That’s a huge difference of 37 percent, and places the fish atop our list of favorite foods, at least by this standard.
Lobster actually appears on 44 percent of the database entries, but that’s only 18 percent higher than the national average, meaning that it’s not as distinct a menu item for Maine — even though one could argue the other states serving lobster are, if they care about their customers, getting their lobster from Maine.
For our state, lobster comes in tied for the second spot on the list with the somewhat more vague “chowder,” forgiving for a moment that both lobster and haddock are entirely possible to find as ingredients in a chowder.
“Stew” — again, a bit vague — pulls in at No. 4 with a 17 percent jump compared to the rest of the country, and cinnamon follows at No. 5 by appearing 16 percent more frequently than anywhere else.
New Hampshire shares our apparent affinity for haddock, while folks up and down the west coast — California, Oregon and Washington — all serve prawn, or shrimp, more than people in other states. Texas and Colorado are big on jalapeno peppers, Tennessee and South Dakota serve up a lot of chocolate, and New Yorkers love their eggplant.
For the full map of which states feast most on which foods, click here.