Of course, the dessert from Arkansas would be something called possum pie – the name might be a little off-putting, but there’s nothing wrong with this fun treat. It’s a pie with a layer of chopped pecan crust at the bottom, a mixture of cream cheese and powdered sugar over the crust, and a chocolate-pudding-esque layer on top of that.
And then a whole lot of cream cheese topped with chopped pecans and shaved chocolate as desired. The name comes from the idea that the pie is hiding what it really is, as possums will pretend to be dead to avoid danger. Underneath the whipped cream is chocolate pudding, but under THAT is cream cheese. It’s a surprise to be sure, but a much better one than the name would suggest.
Alaska – Akutaq
This one is a strange one. It’s pronounced “A-goo-duc,” and looking at the ingredients, you might not even think it’s a dessert at first. It’s sometimes known as Alaskan ice cream, and the traditional recipe includes things like a cup of reindeer, caribou, or moose fat, a cup of animal oil, two cups of loose snow, and anywhere from half a gallon to a full gallon of whatever berries you can find.
There are also recipes that include fish that you prepare yourself. More modern versions of this classic dish use solid vegetable shortening instead of fat and add a cup of sugar. The snow is replaced with water or berry juice (though some still use snow), and the berries are, of course, included. The types of fat change the taste of the dish, so some experimentation is in order.
Arizona – Sopaipilla
Also known as cachanga, sopaipilla is a fried pastry and quick bread that has a Spanish heritage. It’s also the dessert that comes to us from Arizona. They’re sweet, and as long as you don’t mind heating up some oil, then they’re pretty easy to make. All they take is a little flour, baking powder, salt, shortening, and warm water, and you start frying them up.
They’re often topped with confectioner’s sugar or stuffed with honey. They seem simple as long as you don’t mind working with the oil, but most importantly they seem all kinds of delicious. Try a dessert with a south-of-the-border flair the next time you have taco night, just don’t forget the toppings.
California – Doughnuts
Yes, apparently the favored dessert from California is doughnuts, something that is so well known you can practically find them all over the world. But, it seems that California goes hard when it comes to these well-known fried treats. You can get them topped with your favorite cereal, filled to bursting with your favorite fruit, or almost any other way you could possibly want them.
In fact, there’s even a specific type of doughnut that is called the “California donut,” and it sounds pretty good: A big donut, super soft and fluffy, that has crazy, wild toppings. California became known for its doughnuts when Ted Ngoy immigrated to Los Angeles from Cambodia, setting up a pastry shop and helping other immigrants do the same thing, creating a small, connected empire.
Colorado – Duffeyroll
Though they may appear to be cinnamon rolls on the outside, the dessert from Colorado isn’t exactly what it seems to be. A duffeyroll is lighter and flakier than your traditional cinnamon bun. There also appears to only be a single place where you can pick them up – a place that is appropriately called Duffeyroll. They’re also called “Denver Cinnamon Rolls."
And they can be constructed by using a rising dough with plenty of flour and other traditional bread ingredients. The dough filling, however, is a little different: brown sugar, unsalted butter, cinnamon powder, and cocoa powder all work together to give it an extra excellent taste. Add a not-so-healthy dollop of frosted topping to the roof of the rolls, and you have a special cinnamon roll that you’re going to love.