Is this the Number of the Imp?
Links: Jun 30, 2005

Late-Wednesday randomness

98011 is the ZIP code for my office. It is also a prime number, I found out just now by way of A9.com.

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Utah's official cooking pot is the Dutch oven. I discovered this in The Plates of America, a deseretnews.com article I've quoted below the cut because it includes an amazingly comprehensive listing of the food-related symbols of all the states.

Though in some cases their take on "food-related" is a bit... thick.

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There's an Atlas Van Lines tractor-trailer that's now circled the block seven times. I can't imagine anyone would really be moving in at 22:30 and I wonder why the driver and his (at least) two helpers don't stop and knock on a door to ask for directions if they're having trouble finding the address they need, but then again they are men, and we don't ask for help.

Or so I'm repeatedly told by the women in my life.

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I spent much of today being annoyed by a dully throbbing and persistent headache which started about half an hour after I woke up as a mild pressure and by 10:30 was pounding away just behind my eyes. By then I'd partaken of a few Advil tablets to no avail; did that a couple more times throughout the day but the damned ache lasted until around 21:00. Now it's been about 90 minutes gone and I'm hoping it doesn't return before I go to bed sometime soon.

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Hmm, I thought I had more to say but I've just screeched to a halt, random-thoughts-wise.

Have a good night.

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The Plates of America From apples to onions, official state foods run the gamut

By Valerie Phillips
Deseret Morning News

On Monday, we can celebrate America the bountiful—state to shining state brimming with everything from Washington apples to Florida orange juice, Alaskan salmon to Vermont maple syrup, not to mention those amber waves of grain. Around the country, legislatures have made some of these food products "official" state emblems, often the result of lobbying groups or student letter-writing campaigns. You can find out about these emblems on individual state Web sites, as well as on sites that have collected information on all the states, such as State History Guide Resources (www.shgresources.com), and Netstate.com, found at www.netstate.com/states, and the Food Timeline (www.foodtimeline.org).

Some emblems aren't that unique—11 states recognize the white-tailed deer as their official animal or mammal. Utah is one of 16 states that has the honeybee as its official insect, although nobody else can say their territory was first called "Deseret," the Book of Mormon word for "honeybee."

And milk is the official beverage of 17 states. So who says America isn't the land of milk and honey?

Only Rhode Island has coffee milk as an official state drink—described as similar to chocolate milk, but with coffee syrup instead of chocolate. According to Autocrat Coffee and Syrup of Rhode Island, the drink became popular in the 1930s, when diner and drugstore operators sweetened leftover coffee grounds with milk and sugar.

Some foods were so designated because the state is a major producer—Georgia's official crop is the peanut, its fruit is the peach, and its vegetable is the Vidalia onion. It's no surprise that Idaho's official vegetable is the potato.

Other symbols were honored for their historical significance, such as North Carolina's Scuppernong grape, the first grape actively cultivated in the United States, according to State History Guide Resources. In 2002, Senate Bill 136 named the sugar beet Utah's official historic vegetable, as a nod to a once-thriving industry. The Utah Sugar Co.'s fac- tory in Lehi, built in 1891, was the country's first beet sugar factory built with American machinery, according to the Utah History Encyclopedia. By the 1980s, there were no beet sugar factories left in Utah. The same senate bill also named the Spanish sweet onion Utah's official vegetable.

A few official foods may not be found on today's dinner tables, but they played a role in the survival of native Americans and early pioneer settlers—the sego lily in Utah, Indian rice grass in both Utah and Nevada, Alaska's bowhead whale, the golden poppy in California and bitterroot in Montana. Lewis and Clark wrote about the beautiful purplish-pink flower of the bitterroot, which was too bitter to eat unless it was cooked, and it was usually mixed with berries or meat.

Kansas, Wyoming and Oklahoma all recognize bison, which roamed their lands in huge herds during the 1800s but were nearly wiped out. Likewise, Maryland's diamondback terrapin (turtle) was once so abundant that it was a staple diet of slaves and indentured servants in the early 1800s. Then in the late 1800s, terrapin soup, laced with cream and sherry, became a gourmet delicacy among the wealthy. The demand nearly decimated the local terrapin population, prompting laws to protect it, according to the April 2005 issue of Chesapeake Bay Magazine.

Utahns may remember comedian Bill Cosby's visit in 2001, to lobby legislators to make Jell-O Utah's official snack. In 1997, Jell-O officials confirmed that Utah had the highest per-capita consumption of fruit-flavored gelatin in the country. When Utah's Jell-O sales slipped and Iowa took over that distinction in 1999, it sparked a local campaign (with a lot of support from the Jell-O folks) to "Take Back the Title," recounted in past Deseret Morning News articles. After Utah was once again on top of the heap, the legislature humored Jell-O spokesman Cosby and passed a resolution recognizing the jiggly dessert.

A couple of states recognize food festivals, such as Alabama's Christmas on the River Barbecue Championship. Last month Texas named the Dutch oven its official state cooking implement. The cast-iron pot, used over many a campfire by pioneers and cowboys, was named Utah's state cooking pot in 1997. That was apparently a foodie year at the state capitol, as the cherry became the state fruit and the Bonneville cutthroat trout became the state fish.

Oklahoma adopted an official state meal in 1988: Barbecued pork, chicken-fried steak, sausage with biscuits and gravy, fried okra and squash, grits, corn, black-eyed peas, corn bread, strawberries and pecan pie. Even the heartiest of Oklahoma appetites would have a hard time polishing off all those foods in one sitting.

Some states have lots of official foods, while others have none. Perhaps their legislatures choose to debate other issues besides Boston Cream Pie vs. Toll House cookies, or strawberries vs. blueberries. But it's surprising that Hawaii, with its wealth of tropical fruits, hasn't designated an official food. Likewise, agriculture giant California—where Castroville calls itself the "artichoke heart of America" and the Gilroy Garlic Festival attracts thousands—has only the valley quail, the golden trout and the golden poppy as state edibles.

State symbols

Here are state food-related symbols:

ALABAMA

  • Barbecue Championship: Demopolis Christmas on the River Barbecue Championship
  • Freshwater fish: Largemouth bass
  • Game bird: Wild turkey
  • Nut: Pecan
  • Saltwater fish: Tarpon
  • Fruit: Blackberry
  • Spirit: Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey
ALASKA
  • Bird: Willow ptarmigan
  • Fish: Chinook salmon
  • Land mammal: Moose
  • Marine mammal: Bowhead whale
ARIZONA
  • Fish: Apache trout
  • Flower: Saguaro cactus blossom
ARKANSAS
  • Beverage: Milk
  • Fruit and vegetable: South Arkansas vine ripe pink tomato
  • Insect: Honeybee
  • Mammal: White-tailed deer
  • Trout Capital of the USA: Cotter, Ark.
CALIFORNIA
  • Bird: Valley quail
  • Fish: Golden trout
  • Flower: Golden poppy
COLORADO
  • Animal: Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep
  • Fish: Greenback cutthroat trout
CONNECTICUT
  • Shellfish: Eastern oyster
DELAWARE
  • Beverage: Milk
  • Fish: Weakfish or sea trout
FLORIDA
  • Beverage: Orange juice
  • Freshwater fish: Largemouth bass
  • Saltwater fish: Atlantic sailfish
  • Reptile: Alligator
GEORGIA
  • Championship: Beef Barbecue Championship Cook-Off in Hawkinsville
  • Championship: Pork Barbecue Championship Cook-Off: "Slosheye Trail Big Pig Jig" in Dooley County
  • Crop: Peanut
  • Fish: Largemouth bass
  • Folk life play: "Swamp Gravy"
  • Fruit: Peach
  • Game bird: Bobwhite quail
  • Insect: Honeybee
  • Vegetable: Vidalia sweet onion
  • Poultry capital of the world
HAWAII
  • None
IDAHO
  • Fish: Cutthroat trout
  • Fruit: Huckleberry
  • Vegetable: Potato
ILLINOIS
  • Animal: White-tailed deer
  • Fish: Bluegill
INDIANA
  • None
IOWA
  • Song: Iowa Corn Song by George Hamilton and Ray Lockard
KANSAS
  • Animal: Bison
  • Flower: Sunflower
  • Insect: Honeybee
KENTUCKY
  • Wild game animal: Gray squirrel
  • Festival: Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown
  • Fish: Spotted bass
LOUISIANA
  • Crustacean: Crawfish
  • Doughnut: Beignet
  • Drink: Milk
  • Fresh-water fish: White perch
  • Fruit: Strawberry
  • Insect: Honeybee
  • Reptile: Alligator
MAINE
  • Berry: Wild blueberry
  • Fish: Landlocked salmon
  • Herb: Wintergreen
  • Insect: Honeybee
  • Animal: Moose
MARYLAND
  • Crustacean: Blue crab
  • Fish: Rockfish
  • Reptile: Diamondback terrapin
  • Drink: Milk
MASSACHUSETTS
  • Muffin: Corn muffin
  • Dessert: Boston Cream Pie
  • Beans: Baked navy beans
  • Berry: Cranberry
  • Beverage: Cranberry juice
  • Game bird: Wild turkey
  • Cookie: Chocolate chip (Toll House) cookie
MINNESOTA
  • Drink: Milk
  • Fish: Wall-eyed pike
  • Grain: Wild rice
  • Muffin: Blueberry
  • Mushroom: Morel
MISSISSIPPI
  • Beverage: Milk
  • Fish: Largemouth bass
  • Insect: Honeybee
  • Land mammal: White-tailed deer
  • Shell: Oyster shell
  • Waterfowl: Wood duck
MISSOURI
  • Aquatic animal: Paddlefish
  • Fish: Channel catfish
  • Insect: Honeybee
  • Nut: Black walnut
MONTANA
  • Fish: Blackspotted cutthroat trout
  • Flower: Bitterroot
NEBRASKA
  • Beverage: Milk
  • Fish: Channel catfish
  • Insect: Honeybee
NEVADA
  • Fish: Lantana cutthroat trout
  • Grass: Indian rice grass
  • Tree: Pinon (pine nut)
NEW HAMPSHIRE
  • Animal: White-tailed deer
  • Fresh-water fish: Brook trout
  • Salt-water game fish: Striped bass
NEW JERSEY
  • Fish: Brook trout
  • Insect: Honeybee
NEW MEXICO
  • Cookie: Bizcochito
  • Fish: Cutthroat trout
  • Tree: Pinon (pine nut)
  • Vegetables: Chili pepper, pinto bean
NEW YORK
  • Beverage: Milk
  • Fish: Brook trout
  • Fruit: Apple
  • Muffin: Apple muffin
  • Shell: Bay scallop
  • Tree: Sugar maple
NORTH CAROLINA
  • Berry, blue: Blueberry
  • Berry, red: Strawberry
  • Beverage: Milk
  • Fruit: Scuppernong grape
  • Insect: Honeybee
  • Saltwater fish: Channel bass
  • Northeastern Watermelon Festival: Watermelon Festival in Murfreesboro
  • Southeastern Watermelon Festival: Watermelon Festival in Columbus County
  • Vegetable: Sweet potato
  • Animal: Gray squirrel
NORTH DAKOTA
  • Beverage: Milk
  • Fish: Northern pike
OHIO
  • Animal: White-tailed deer
  • Beverage: Tomato juice
OKLAHOMA
  • Animal: Bison
  • Beverage: Milk
  • Fish: White bass
  • Game animal: White-tailed deer
  • Game bird: Wild turkey
  • Insect: Honeybee
  • Meal: Fried okra, squash, corn bread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken-friend steak, pecan pie and black-eyed peas.
OREGON
  • Beverage: Milk
  • Fish: Chinook salmon
  • Flower: Oregon grape
  • Mushroom: Pacific golden chanterelle
  • Nut: Hazelnut
PENNSYLVANIA
  • Animal: White-tailed deer
  • Beverage: Milk
  • Cookie: Chocolate chip cookie
  • Fish: Brook trout
  • Game bird: Ruffed grouse
RHODE ISLAND
  • Bird: Rhode Island red hen
  • Fish: Striped bass
  • Fruit: Greeningapple
  • Shell: Quahaug
  • Drink: Coffee milk
SOUTH CAROLINA
  • Animal: White-tailed deer
  • Beverage: Milk
  • Fish: Striped bass
  • Fruit: Peach
  • Game Bird: Wild turkey
  • Hospitality beverage: Tea
SOUTH DAKOTA
  • Bird: Ring-necked pheasant
  • Dessert: Kuchen
  • Drink: Milk
  • Fish: Walleyed pike
  • Insect: Honeybee
TENNESSEE
  • Agricultural insect: Honeybee
  • Commercial fish: Channel catfish
  • Game bird: Bobwhite quail
  • Sport fish: Largemouth bass
TEXAS
  • Dish: Chili
  • Health nut: Pecan
  • Fish: Guadelupe bass
  • Fruit: Texas Red grapefruit
  • Large mammal: Longhorn steer
  • Native pepper: Chiltepin
  • Pepper: Jalapeno
  • Plant: Prickly-pear cactus
  • Tree: Pecan
  • Vegetable: Sweet onion
  • Bread: Pan De Campo (Cowboy Bread)
  • Cooking implement: Cast-iron Dutch oven
  • Vehicle: Chuckwagon
UTAH
  • Animal: Rocky Mountain elk
  • Cooking pot: Dutch oven
  • Emblem: Beehive
  • Fish: Bonneville cutthroat trout
  • Flower: Sego lily
  • Fruit: Cherry
  • Grass: Indian rice grass
  • Insect: Honeybee
  • Contemporary vegetable: Spanish sweet onion
  • Historic vegetable: Sugar beet
  • Snack: Jell-O
VERMONT
  • Beverage: Milk
  • Cold-water fish: Brook trout
  • Warm-water fish: Walleyed pike
  • Flavor: Maple
  • Fruit: Apple
  • Insect: Honeybee
  • Pie: Apple pie
  • Tree: Sugar maple
VIRGINIA
  • Beverage: Milk
  • Shell: Oyster shell
  • Fish: Brook trout
WASHINGTON
  • Fish: Steelhead trout
  • Fruit: Apple
WEST VIRGINIA
  • Fish: Brook trout
  • Fruit: Golden Delicious apple
  • Tree: Sugar maple
WISCONSIN
  • Beverage: Milk
  • Domestic animal: Dairy cow
  • Fish: Muskellunge
  • Grain: Corn
  • Insect: Honeybee
  • Tree: Sugar maple
  • Wildlife animal: White-tailed deer
WYOMING
  • Fish: Cutthroat trout
  • Mammal: Bison

Sources: Netstate.com at www.netstate.com/states; State History Guide Resources, at shgresources.com/al/symbol, and The Food Timeline at foodtimeline.org, and Deseret Morning News archives.

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