As summer comes to a close, it’s the perfect opportunity to reminisce on the best of the best of summer food. From barbecues to cookouts, there’s no shortage of delicious eats that paired perfectly with the heat of the sun.
And temperatures may be starting to drop, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to consume the same delicious food we did when it was 100 degrees Fahrenheit. But what exactly are those the best tasty snacks designed for the summer months?
Apparently, it depends on what state you’re in. A study by Treetopia uncovered the most popular barbecue foods in each US state, and it seems like there isn’t a lot of agreement about which barbecue ingredient is the most essential.
Watermelon is the Most Popular Overall
While some may assume that the most popular barbecue food would be some kind of meat or substantial entree, that’s not necessarily the case. In 18 of the 50 US states, watermelon was the most popular barbecue food. It makes sense, given that watermelon has been described as the perfect summer fruit. It’s an ingredient that may not be the star of the barbecue, but it’s definitely an important ingredient not to be forgotten.
Hamburgers or Ribs?
For the main platter, the jury’s still out on what meat people like to see. In seven states, the most popular barbecue food is a hamburger, while in five states the most popular food is ribs. Since the counts are so close, it’s hard to say which is the more popular of the two. Either route is sure to be a crowd pleaser and both are classic options for any summer barbecue.
Sides are Essential
While the meat is important, no barbecue menu is complete without an array of sides to accompany the main platter. Potato chips are the most popular side at fourth overall most popular barbecue ingredient. Other honorable mentions go to coleslaw and potato salad which both appear among the top 15 barbecue foods in the country.
Finish it Off with the Perfect Dessert
While dessert may not have appeared among the most popular barbecue foods (unless you count watermelon as a dessert), no meal is complete without a delicious dessert to finish it off – and summer is not exempt from this. If you’re particularly culinarily gifted, you may opt to make your own dessert to accompany the barbecue. From key lime pie to banana foster, there’s really no wrong option when selecting a recipe, so go for whatever your heart desires!
Barbecues may stereotypically be reserved for summer, but who says we can’t embrace the culture year round? Sure, it may be a little cold to stand outside grilling the meat of your choice – but you could always find an alternative method of baking or look to local restaurants to solve all of your barbecue cravings.