‘Arkanslaw’ and ‘New Pork’: See How a Dad Turned Every State Into a Pun-Filled Food

With his ‘'Foodnited States’ project, Chris Durso shows us a coast-to-coast vision of tasty eats.

(Photo: Foodiggity/Instagram)

Sep 5, 2015· 3 MIN READ
Culture and education editor Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.

Your mother might have told you it’s impolite to play with your food. But if you’ve come across images of the “Foodnited States of America” project on social media over the past year, you might be tempted to ignore that advice.

The pun-filled series of pictures of all 50 states made from food was started last July by New York City–area dad Chris Durso, who runs the website Fooddiggity. Durso has been posting the images on his Instagram account and has garnered more than 20,000 followers in the process.

“I was shocked by how overwhelmingly positive the reaction to the project was. Of course, there are always some critics, especially when someone’s home state is involved,” Durso wrote to TakePart. “But the positive response and the amount of fan participation was incredible.”

The series was, appropriately enough, sparked by a question from his son.

“Dad… What if you made States, but like, they were made of food, like?” his son asked, Durso wrote on his blog last year when he launched the effort. “My response was something along the lines of, ‘That’s been done to death already, son… Go to bed.’ Then, the heir to the Foodiggity empire added, ‘But what if they like had funny names like New Pork or New Jerky, like?’ ”

(Photo: Foodiggity/Instagram)

This week, Durso finally finished the project with one of those initial ideas from his little boy: New Pork, a rendering of New York that’s full of pork.

That might displease the vegan and vegetarian residents of the Empire State, especially when other places were shown with healthier choices: Avocolorado for the win! Other veggies, such as kale and raddichio, are also included, but Durso wrote that he didn’t have any qualms about choosing foods—the Cinnimindiana roll, for example—that may be less than healthy for the project.

“The Foodnited States is all about having some fun with food. The project follows the overall theme of my website, which tries to not take food and food issues so seriously,” he wrote. He doesn’t see the project as “a platform to launch a serious discussion on our country’s eating habits.” Instead, “they’re merely states made of foodstuffs and renamed to hopefully give people a laugh.”

But Durso wrote that the items he picked do reflect a changing America. The project “was a reminder of how food trends play a significant role in influencing our eating habits,” he wrote. “I purposely included very trendy food items in the project—such as bacon (Baconnecticut), sriracha (Srirachawaii), kale (Kaleifornia) and s’mores (S’moregon)—figuring that they’d receive the best response. And they did.”

And, although the production of the individual images is finished, this is just the beginning for the “Foodnited States.”

“This will eventually be printed and available for sale,” Durso wrote. In the meantime, check out some of our faves from the project.

(Photo: Foodiggity/Instagram)

(Photo: Foodiggity/Instagram)

(Photo: Foodiggity/Instagram)

(Photo: Foodiggity/Instagram)

(Photo: Foodiggity/Instagram)

(Photo: Foodiggity/Instagram)

(Photo: Foodiggity/Instagram)

(Photo: Foodiggity/Instagram)

(Photo: Foodiggity/Instagram)