Why yes, Iowa is saying what we’re all thinking: ice cream is great. It’s great! It really is. Unless you’re lactose intolerant, which means you can’t eat it without risking some bad time, but you probably still think it’s pretty great. The state of Iowa loves this frozen goody so much that it’s the ice cream capital of the world.
Specifically, it’s Le Mars which is the ice cream capital, since it contains the Blue Bunny ice cream parlor and ice cream museum. If you look hard enough, you might be able to find the fifty different ice cream sculptures that are scattered throughout the city. You can also, of course, get any kind of ice cream you might want to try, with any kind of mix-ins that you’re after.
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.
Indiana – Sugar Cream Pie
Indiana became famous for something called sugar cream pie because of one reason and one reason only – they were desperate. It was actually originally known as “Desperation pie,” because they wanted something sweet to eat but had little to make a dessert with. It doesn’t require fresh fruit or fancy ingredients. There are some more complicated versions of the dish out there.
But simple recipes will have you bake the pie crust, and then make a mixture of sugar, cornstarch, milk, butter, and vanilla extract. You’ve probably got all that stuff in your pantry right now! Heat all of that good stuff together until it’s in a boil, then reduce heat and stir until it’s thickened. Pour it into the baked crust, sprinkle with cinnamon, bake until it’s golden brown, and then refrigerate. Boom. Done.
Kansas – Frozen Custard
Frozen custard is really similar to ice cream, but the mixture isn’t exactly the same. With the addition of pasteurized egg yolks, you’re going to get a heavy, richer taste and a smoother texture. One of the best places to pick up some of this treat is Sheridan’s Frozen Custard in Kansas City.
There are tons of flavors you can try, as well as all the possible mix-ins you could want. It’s smooth, it’s creamy, and eggs have protein, right? Compared to other desserts, this option is practically a health food. For the ultimate treat, you can have it in a waffle cone. It’s bound to make your day better.
Kentucky – Bourbon Ball
There’s no doubt that Kentucky’s dessert would include another potent potable that it is famous for – bourbon. Grab a smooth, drinkable, not-too-expensive bottle of bourbon, some chopped nuts of your choice, confectioner’s sugar, butter, and chocolate – nothing else is needed. You just have to soak the nuts in bourbon overnight, mix the sugar and butter before folding in the already-soaked nuts, form them into balls.
And...refrigerate them overnight, and roll the balls in melted chocolate. Top with full nuts if you feel like it. So this is a simple dessert, but it apparently takes a couple of days. Just give yourself enough time, and you’ll have a powerful treat that adults and not kids should enjoy responsibly. They can be frozen for a long time, which means surprise guests will still get something tasty.