The Official Sandwich of Every Southern State
While every state has a government-sanctioned bird, reptile, and even song (“Georgia on My Mind,” “Rocky Top,” etc.), most elected officials haven’t taken the time to grant each state an official sandwich, perhaps the one food item that can unite us in these trying times. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to assign each state in our coverage area a sandwich that illustrates its people, its natural resources, its spirit, if you will.
While some other publications and news outlets have dared to do so in the past, we feel that a more local perspective may be in order. Assigning every Southern state pulled pork with a different sauce doesn’t exactly scream “I did my research.” Nor does assigning South Carolina the tuna melt or Texas a kolache, which is a bonafide pastry. To paraphrase Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers: Really?
A few rules: No state gets the BLT for that is one joy we all share; no hot dogs; nothing calzone-like; no state is permitted the Southern treasure known as the peanut butter-and-mayo sandwich because that’s just controversy for the sake of it; no shared proteins that are similarly prepared; no burgers; no tacos.
Will you agree with us? Will you bitterly contest us in the Facebook comments and call us names? We’ll see soon enough.
Alabama: BBQ Chicken Sandwich with White Sauce
Preferably, this sandwich would also come from Big Bob Gibson’s in Decatur. Pairs extremely well with Golden Flake Sweet Heat BBQ Potato Chips.
Arkansas: Fried Catfish Sandwich
In the home of 100 lb. catfish, Arkansans have unique qualifications in preparing this Southern staple.
Florida: Tie between Cuban Sandwich and a Fried Grouper Sandwich
Florida can be complicated like our feelings about picking between these two essential sandwiches.
Georgia: Pimento Cheese Sandwich
While many Southern states might lay claim to this regional favorite, we had to give it to Georgia for preserving the tradition of $1.50 pimento cheese sandwiches at the Masters Golf Tournament. Second place goes to the Bahn Mi, which we are so happy to see almost everywhere in Atlanta.
Kentucky: The Hot Brown
Y’all knew this was coming, but it was hard for us not to nominate the Bluegrass state anomaly known as the Country Ham Salad Sandwich.
Louisiana: Tie between Shrimp Po’Boy and Muffaletta
Like Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint or red beans and rice, these two are cosmically linked and both invaluable gifts from Louisiana to the rest of the world.
Maryland: Soft Shell Crab Sandwich
Their fleeting availability makes them special.
Mississippi: Pig Ear and Smokes Sandwiches
We almost went with a Slugburger, the wild card from Corinth, but those boiled pig ears and crimson “smokes” with slaw from Jackson won out this time.
Missouri: Tie between the St. Paul Sandwich and a Gerber Open-Faced Sandwich
Arguments about Missouri’s inherent Southern-ness aside, both these sandwiches are St. Louis staples. The Saint Paul consists of an egg foo young patty topped with pickles and mayo; The Gerber sports melted provel cheese over ham and garlic butter spread on Italian bread with a sprinkle of paprika.
North Carolina: Pulled Pork with Vinegar BBQ Sauce
If there’s anything North Carolinians take more seriously than their beer, it’s pulled pork. They wear their penchant for vinegar-based BBQ sauce on their sleeve. Literally.
Oklahoma: Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich
No contest. Fried okra on the side, please.
South Carolina: Fried Oyster Sandwich
Okay, we’re probably going to get some flack for not giving pulled pork to South Carolina, but we’re going to stand by our decision.
Tennessee: Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich
While many others have given Tennessee the old, token’ “Elvis” sandwich, it’s safe to say that without Tennessee the hot chicken sandwich would not be the global phenomenon it has become.
Texas: BBQ Brisket Sandwich
All other designations are bull.
Virginia: Ham Biscuit Sandwich
Smithfield, stand up.
West Virginia: Fried Bologna Sandwich
While it’s so tempting to get into a philosophical discussion on the sandwich and non-sandwich like qualities of pepperoni rolls, we have selected the fried bologna sandwich, a nostalgic point among many that call the Mountain State home.