Cafe Reviews

Arizona Needs a State Food, I Say Let's Give It One.

Next Tuesday, February 14, Arizona celebrates 100 years of statehood. So where are the eats? The official state food eats?

Sadly, there's not one to be found. Which is why, after this long, it's time to get hungry for an official state food.

Here's an excerpt from my column in this week's special Arizona Centennial issue of the New Times:

"It isn't as if we haven't had the time to think about it. As early as 1980, several other states in the nation already were busily claiming their own Legislature-passed culinary fare: Georgia with its peaches, Maryland with its blue crabs, and Indiana with its Hoosier pie (Hoosier pie?). Even some of America's major cities were getting in on the act, albeit unofficially, with New Orleans becoming famous for its sweet beignets, Philadelphia for its hefty Philly cheesesteaks, and Chicago for its ketchup-less hot dog.

Arizona, however, seemed to be taking a less-homespun approach to securing its place in food history, one that haunts us today. In 1953, brothers Maurice and Richard ("Mac" and "Dick") McDonald began to franchise their successful restaurant, McDonald's, in Phoenix and, in 1975, the city of Sierra Vista became the first home of a McDonald's drive-thru."

Get the rest of the state food story here.

And be sure to check out other great Arizona Centennial tales from fellow scribes like Jason Woodbury on 100 years of Arizona music, Robrt Pela on our capital city's tendency to plow down its architectural past, and Paul Rubin and Amy Silverman with a timeline of Arizona history.

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