Oklahoma officially designated its state meal in 1988. The state also has a state vegetable and state fruit. The official meal of Oklahoma features a menu that symbolizes the state’s historic and cultural heritage. It also represents the present-day agriculture and culture of residents of the state. Besides Oklahoma, Louisiana is another state with an official state meal.
Significantly, the official state meal of Oklahoma includes cornbread, squash, fried okra, barbecue pork, grits, strawberries (state fruit), biscuits, sausage and gravy, corn, pecan pie, chicken fried steak, and black-eyed peas.
Fried okra is one of the vegetable elements of the state’s official meal. It was brought into the western hemisphere by 17th-century slaves from Africa. Okra is commonly rolled in cornmeal before it is fried. It is essential in southern cuisine, especially in the upland South and in the Texas area where many of Oklahoma’s nineteenth-century population originated.
The official state meal, as listed above, is not limited to okra alone. It contains other meaningful foods, fruits, and vegetables. For instance, in the early 19th century, pork and corn became prominent in southern cuisine. Moreover, cowpeas which have an American Indian origin are now considered as African American soul food. It is usually boiled with bacon.
Indeed, the official state menu is a staple in many small cafes and restaurants in the state. Over the year, it has continued to reflect the cultural heritage of Oklahomans.