Oklahoma food is totally dependant on the locally grown produces. Being an agricultural state the region has an excess of beef, pork and fishing with dairy products being consumed all through out the state.
The cooking styles tend to differ widely in the state thanks to the myriad of outside influences. Various dishes of Native American origin along with Texas, Southern and European culinary traditions have been assimilated into the food culture of the ‘Sooner State’.
Food is of paramount importance in the region which can be obvious from the fact that the state has an official meal instead of an official dish like the other states of the country. It is a seven course meal which consists of cornbread, fried okra and squash along with barbecued dishes of pork, biscuits, grits, sausages and gravy. Strawberries, chicken fried steak and the enormously popular pecan pie are served at the end of the meal usually.
More than forty food companies operate in the State which is quite famous for its hearty spread and Southern style hospitality. Of the many recipes that have evolved with time, the Pepper Butter and Chicken Corn Pudding can be best described as authentic dishes of the region.
The most famous Oklahoma food fest is the Watermelon Festival, held annually since 1948.
History of Oklahoma Cuisine
The food of Oklahoma is characteristic of the many people who settled in the region starting from the original inhabitants, the Native Americans. The local tribes preferred buffalo meat along with corn, beans , squash and pumpkins all of which continue to enjoy a place in the State cuisine.
The early European settlers brought in the traditional European fare and biscuits, breads and stews became commonplace with the gingerbread recipe being the most coveted by the local residents. The Tex-Mex style of cooking was also incorporated within the culinary culture of Oklahoma while the black settlements that sprung up post abolishment of the slave trade saw okra, sweet potatoes and fried chicken become a part of traditional Oklahoma food items gradually.
Popular Food Items from Oklahoma Cuisine
- Watercress and Pickled Artichoke Salad- Pickled artichokes spooned on top of Bibb’s lettuce and crisp watercress topped with a dressing of choice.
- Pepper Ring Fritters- Bell pepper rings deep fried with a dollop of fresh, well seasoned corn batter in the center.
- Spare Rib Pie- Small pieces of spare ribs baked in a pie crust.
- Apple Crisp- a warm baked dessert containing apples mixed with lemon juice and brushed with cinnamon powder. It is customarily served with a topping of vanilla ice-cream.
- Pecan Pie- Baked pie consisting of pecan halves flavored with vanilla.
Places Famous Oklahoma Food
- Cattlemen's Steakhouse- One of the oldest establishments serving traditional dishes. It offers both casual as well as fine dining facilities.
- The Deep Fork Grill- Reckoned as the best place for sea food in Oklahoma City.
- Earl’s Rib Palace- Popular for its superlative BBQ dishes cooked in Oklahoma style.
Food of Oklahoma: Trivia
Oklahoma food was subjected to controversy when the OKC Senate declared Watermelon as the State Vegetable instead of fruit.