News that state legislators in Maine are arguing over whether or not to vote whoopie pie in as the official state dessert naturally raises the question: "Um, what? There are official state desserts?"
Of course there are. In a country where we choose official state insects, state tartans, official state soil (yes! In Wisconsin, it's antigo silt loam!), of course we have official state desserts. Here's a handy list (not all the states have official desserts) so that you can stay in compliance with your state's official sweets preferences.
Pennsylvania: The official state cookie is chocolate chip. Good choice. Drink it with PA's state beverage, milk.
Massachusetts: State dessert is the Boston cream pie. Fair enough. State cookie: chocolate chip, as the original Toll House is in the state. Hey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania's biting your cookie action. I suggest a fierce military battle to settle the winner. Massachusetts also has a state muffin. It is a corn muffin. Huh.
Florida: Key lime pie. Don't leave it out overnight or the roaches will get it.
Maryland: Something I've never heard of called the Smith Island cake, which looks like it's a whole bunch of thin yellow cake layers with chocolate frosting in between. Go, Maryland.
Nebraska: It doesn't have a state dessert. But holy crap, the state soft drink is Kool-Aid!
South Dakota: Due to the state's German heritage, the state dessert is Kuchen. Kuchen is a German word for "cake," and it can mean a variety of dessertlike things, from fruit-filled pies, to coffee cakes, to nut rolls, to cheesecakes. Hey, South Dakota? Why'd you even bother? Your state dessert is "whatever."
New Mexico: The state cookie is a bizcochito, a shortbread, often made of lard, with warm spices like anise and cinnamon. Nothing to make fun of here, that sounds delicious.
Missouri: The ice cream cone is the state dessert. If we will recall, the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904 is said to be the birthplace of the cone in the U.S. (the ancestry is a bit hazy).
Texas: In keeping with the diversity of the state, two pastries share the official title: strudel and sopaipillas. Texas also has a state cooking implement: the cast-iron Dutch oven.
Utah: The state snack is Jell-O. Mormons love it.