Did you know that Oklahoma has an official state meal? Voted on and made official in 1988. It consists of any of the following dishes put together to make up a meal.

  • Fried Okra
  • Squash
  • Cornbread
  • BBQ Pork
  • Biscuits
  • Sausage Gravy
  • Grits
  • Corn
  • Black-Eyed Peas
  • Chicken Fried Steak
  • Strawberries
  • Pecan Pie

If you can overlook the fried okra and grits, those are some solid items to make up a meal with, except the random BBQ pork suggestion.

How in the world did Oklahoma choose BBQ pork as an official state dish? We're not known for BBQ pork... That's the Delta and Carolina's.


If anything, Oklahoma should be known for our brisket. Texas tries to say brisket is theirs, but you should know the best BBQ brisket in the world comes from the Sooner State. So does the only acceptable BBQ sauce known to man, Head Country Hickory Smoke, but that's for another time and discussion.

Before you pop off and suggest "Maybe they meant ribs." They didn't. I looked into that thinking the same thing. Then I got to thinking about the time at which they tossed this dish into the pile of foods to be voted on.

The 1980s was the period of time when pulled pork took off across the United States. It had always been there in the South, but not across the plains. We did brisket remember? While brisket has always been an expensive premium cut at the meat counter, pork really wasn't and the government was scrambling to help pig farmers.

I'll explain...

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In the 80s, the pork industry was on the brink of collapse.

If you didn't know, and why would you, Oklahoma used to be a major pork producer back before the government made everyone kill off their livestock due to a disease outbreak.

Perhaps this was Oklahoma's way of giving a boost to the failing industry. Trying to prop those hog farms back up into the black. If you think about it, this was about the same time you started hearing "Pork: The Other White Meat" in commercials.

The country was trying to renew and aid the hog farms that had been hit so hard. It was dirt cheap, delicious, and easy to make in a ton of different ways. Still, I digress, BBQ pork isn't an "Oklahoma" dish. Brisket and smoked balogna are.

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