Eating should also be considered America's favorite pastime. Jim Cooke created this map for Deadspin, where a careful drawing of a signature food is used to represent every U.S. state and the District of Columbia. Meanwhile, Albert Burneko riffs on each dish, offering his, um, "colorful" opinions.
Each food is ranked, with Chicago's deep-dish pizza earning the top spot:
Man is mortal. He frolics upon the grass of life for but a short season, and then is snatched back to the inanimate dirt of his origin. The Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, America's greatest regional foodstuff—all those toppings, good God so much cheese and meat, I can hear my heartbeat, this can't be right, it sounds like a goddamn chainsaw, can that be right?—will greatly hasten that day's arrival, but it will also fill at least a little part of at least one of those days with a transcendent, mind-boggling, outrageously indulgent sensory experience. This is the best thing any food can do, and certainly far beyond the capabilities of [stares daggers at New York] a sheet of soggy cardboard with a flap of waxy melted cheese stretched across it.
New York is represented by New York-style pizza (#22), which gets a fair amount of shade thrown in its direction:
By rough estimate, there are 900 trillion pizza joints per person in New York City. Somehow, within this competitive environment, not a one of the purveyors of "New York Pizza" has yet considered the wild and crazy idea of maybe trying to do something—anything!—interesting with its pizza.
Pennsylvania and its scrapple are ranked 28th, and there are a few shots at Philadelphia and its infamous cheesesteak:
But the cheesesteak mer m'mer Phiwwy cheesesteak mer! Shut it. The famous grease-and-garbage sandwich belongs to the city of Philadelphia, which A) is the worst place on Earth, and B) doesn't come close to representing the entire state of Pennsylvania. In a given day, 500 times as many Pennsylvanians are scraping possums off the motorway to add volume to their scrapple as are standing in line with the tourists in the Junior Varsity Metropolis to have a bucket of Cheez Whiz dumped onto a fistful of thinly sliced sewer rat. Your state food is this salty, greasy, gray, abjectly horrifying pig-rectum-mash, and, fuck you, it is delicious.
(Also, a 9-year-old in her parents' kitchen could make a tastier cheesesteak in 10 minutes than any to be found in Philadelphia. Thhhppbbpbpbppbbp.)
Wow, who hurt you? But hey, to each his own.
Ohio, which came in dead last with the Cincinnatti chili, receives the harshest of words. Here's a sample:
For the mercifully unacquainted, "Cincinnati chili," the worst regional foodstuff in America or anywhere else, is a horrifying diarrhea sludge (most commonly encountered in the guise of the "Skyline" brand) that Ohioans slop across plain spaghetti noodles and hot dogs as a way to make the rest of us feel grateful that our own shit-eating is (mostly) figurative. The only thing "chili" about it is the shiver that goes down your spine when you watch Ohio sports fans shoveling it into their maws on television and are forced to reckon with the cold reality that, for as desperately as you might cling to faltering notions of community and universality, ultimately your fellow human beings are as foreign and unknowable to you as the surface of Pluto, and you are alone and always have been and will die alone, a world unto yourself unmarked and unmapped and totally, hopelessly isolated.
There's so much more, but you get the gist of it by this. The food game is serious, so very serious.