The pasty is made by placing meat and vegetables on pastry, then folding it in half to wrap the filling, and crimping the curved edge to form a seal before baking. This is basically a meat-and-potatoes Hot Pocket. In Michigan, particularly the Upper Peninsula, the pasty is as culturally ubiquitous as deep-dish pizza is to Chicago. Its origin is linked to the early 1800s when Cornish miners needed to take something with them into the mines for 12-hour workdays.
The pasty fails to live up to any standard. The problem is that these little half-moons are seasoned with nothing other than salt and pepper. Can we get some garnishings with that?
Maryland -- Stuffed Ham
While Maryland may have given us crab dip, they also gave us stuffed ham. Stuffed ham is thought to have originated in Southern Maryland, and it is still popular in this area today. If you're wondering what stuffed ham is, don't worry, you aren't alone. Luckily, it's a very simple concept. For some reason, Americans are proud of their tradition of stuffing food into other foods.
It's boiled ham stuffed aggressively with cabbage and greens like kale. Then, it's wrapped in cheesecloth and broiled. Somehow, people in Maryland love this stuff without even questioning what it is they are eating. In all honesty, Southern MD is totally at fault here, which any Marylander will tell you is Here There Be Dragons territory anyway.
Massachusetts -- Boston Baked Beans
Baked beans are all that's wrong with America. They taste like sad mushy sacks of desperation. Massachusetts takes so much pride in its Boston Baked Beans which is equally sad. Then again, they also take pride in the Patriots all the while thinking that they're less narcissistic than New York Yankees fans.
Well, Massachusetts, I hate to break it to you but these beans belong in the compost bin rather than in your stomach. Decades ago, the beans were traditionally cooked on Saturdays and left in the brick ovens overnight to enjoy on Sunday. Fortunately now, we have other things to enjoy on a Sunday afternoon, like avocado toast.
Minnesota -- Hotdish
Meet the "everything but the kitchen sink that you're still able to save from mold" casserole where you literally dump everything together in a dish and bake it. Could this get more Midwestern? (I sure hope not). The hotdish usually contains starch and meat (usually ground beef) which is mixed together with canned soup. I must admit, Minnesota, it would be hard to beat this one.
The hotdish originated back when farmwives needed to feed their families and congregations in the basements of the first Minnesota churches. Seeing as though the hotdish is filling and easy to make, it was the perfect (disgusting) solution. Minnesotans enjoy pairing the dish with potato salad, coleslaw, and Jello salad. I bet you're just dying to get an invite now to a Minnesota family gathering.
Mississippi -- Koolickle
Have you ever wished that your pickles were red? If your answer is yes, what kind of sick person are you? Or you must be from Mississippi... Because down south in Mississippi, they created the Koolickle. What a clever name for a pickle soaking in Kool-Aid. Do we need to expand on this more? Ok, good.
Apparently, this is actually a big thing in Mississippi. But let's be honest, the South is basically a different country where they do things in their own, very weird, way. Is this the pickle that opened the Ninth Seal? It looks like you can't dispose of it without the help of an old priest and a young priest. *sigh* Mississippi.