Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Exploring Oklahoma

I grew up on a rather eclectic array of foods as a child. My mother, though born and raised in western Oklahoma, had a good deal of German influence in her cooking. Additionally my parents owned a small cafe in Seiling, Oklahoma during the mid to late 40's. The cafe, named The Gay Way Cafe (think in the context of the 1940's), served up traditional Oklahoma short order fare. I learned to make the most beautiful over easy eggs by watching my mom cook breakfast.

Thinking on these memories made me wonder...what do Oklahoman's consider their fare? I have come to the conclusion that it is indeed a hodgepodge of different influences. This makes sense when you consider how Oklahoma was founded.

 The great 1889 land rush, as well as subsequent smaller ones, was a singularly unique way of settling a region. As such, a varied group of people gathered to participate. Easterners longing for space, immigrants wanting a piece of American soil to call their own. Mid-westerners just looking for a change. Texans coming up from the south. As a result they all brought a bit of their style to Oklahoma, all at the same time.

The state meal of Oklahoma...yes, they have a state meal...shows a definite southern influence. The meal is as follows:

barbecue pork 
chicken fried steak
sausage and gravy
fried okra

black-eyed peas
 pecan pie

But, if you look around you will also find a fair number of ethnic restaurants in Oklahoma. Immigrants from Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Ireland had a lasting influence. Not to mention the Tex-Mex fare that crept up from Texas. The Oklahoma City area is full of restaurants that reflect this heritage. 

Still, going back to the state meal; I think when we have friends down from Kansas to visit, that is the type of meal we will share. How better to say, "Welcome to Oklahoma?"


1 comment:

  1. This post should come with a warning for those of us who are dieting! ;-) Everything looks so delicious! I didn't know we had a "State Meal" here in Oklahoma, but do love every item your list! - Kristi Kirk Trent