Yesterday, while most of the country was presumably far from a computer, kicking back with a cold beer in close proximity to some sizzling meats, Google observed Independence Day with one of its ever-popular daily Doodles. From the search engine’s homepage, users were directed to a comprehensive map called the “Foodle,” a guide to all 50 states’ most-searched foods. But Google’s results were curious, to say the least.
While Google’s Map got quite a bit of attention around the internet, few sites seem to have taken issue with the strange and implausible selections of each state. Each state on Google’s map is represented by a cheeky little drawing of one of the state’s most highly searched recipes over the past 12 months, the illustration’s creators noted in a blog post. Click through, and you get a “fun fact” about the dish, as well as a link to search Google for a recipe for it. And this is where things get weird.
While New York cuisine is a worldly hodgepodge, most of us associate it with an iconic dish like pizza, or maybe hot dogs—the latter a particularly appropriate dish to feature on the 4th of July. But according to Google, New Yorkers, over the past year, have simply been dying to fry up some… chicken cutlets?! That’s the dish the company chose to represent the northeast state, accompanied by this punny gem: “New Yorkers pound chicken breast like they do the pavement: hard.” OK, Google, let’s all just calm down.
And the hits just keep coming. California, land of the avocado, home of the almond? Google’s map informs us that quinoa is the state’s most fervently searched dish. Washington State, where wild salmon leap from icy rivers straight onto farm-to-table plates? Apparently, Washingtonians are more interested in… pork chops (“Try on a fruit-based sauce for summer,” Google sagely advises).
In Idaho, where potatoes are a way of life, you might think that fries or perhaps gratin would be on citizens’ minds. According to Google, though, they’re far more interested in crepes. Colorado, which, last we checked, ladled green chile over everything, gets crowned with the perplexing choice of spaghetti squash. And poor Nebraska, renowned for its savory wild game, doesn’t even get a food: its state dish, according to Google, is taco seasoning. Taco seasoning!
Now, while Google was clear that it wasn’t naming each state’s most famous or iconic dish—but rather its most-searched one—the choices are still confounding. On top of that, the map’s creators urged users to cobble together a celebratory 4th of July menu from the illustration’s choices. So go ahead and bookmark the Foodle for next year, when you can serve your hungry guests a veritable smorgasbord of zucchini bread (Utah), vegetable soup (Kentucky), and hashbrown casserole (Tennessee).
As for us, we’re cool with burgers—though not sure we’ll take Google’s advice to “burn to an extra crusty, brown crisp.”