KIMT News 3 – The website; Thrillist, took a look at what each states produces, what iconic items they are known for, what their beer,wine, and spirit production is like and finally they examined the overall food and drink scene.
Based on all of that, the reviews, didn’t reflect too kindly on Iowa, but there are many local folks who disagree.
Drive down any back road in Iowa and you’re likely to find a few things: corn, soybeans, and maybe some pigs. But, what the state is also known for is the loose-meat sandwich.
Basically, you cook up loose hamburger meat, throw in some seasonings, slap it onto a bun, and add condiments as you see fit.
Sally Anderson has been a server at Pro’s Sandwich Shop in Mason City for 16 years, and she said there’s a set way to make their sandwiches.
“We do not put ketchup on our sandwich, if they want it, it’s on the table.”
She also says their version of the loose-meat sandwich is the fan favorite, hands down.
But, that messy delicacy is part of the reason the food-review website; Thrillist ranked Iowa 47th on the list of states based on food and drink alone.
It’s by no-means a scientific system, but some think that’s just plain unfair.
Jan Libbey with Healthy Harvest of North Iowa said there may be some misguided perceptions about the quality of food in the state.
“We grow tons and tons of food in Iowa, but not all of that is coming to sit on your plate that evening.”
Jan works to bring locally grown products to restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers markets, but she wants to see more of that in the future.
“It’s just a win, win for everybody in the community and it grows engagement and a sense of place and pride.”
If you want to see all the local good eats Iowa has to offer, right now, you can pretty much take your pick.
Libbey said, “Green beans, zucchinni, cucumbers, peppers, onions,and tomatoes. This is what I call high season, because you just can’t get enough.”
Though the loose-meat sandwich may not be the most glamorous dish, Jan suggests adding some fresh tomatoes to add local flare to your meal. And both ladies have some tips on how to tackle eating it.
Anderson said, “You have to tell them not to open it upside down and give ’em a spoon.”
Libbey said, “I would agree, you’d probably want some sort of utensil, so you can scoop up every last bit.”
Minnesota ranks 23rd on the list.