Best Food to try Out in Arizona – Arizona’s rich landscape and its long relationship with the Mexican border state of Sonora both had a significant impact on its cuisine. More than 20 different Native American tribes, immigrants from all over the world, and out-of-state residents who moved there in search of the warmth are just a few of the communities that call Arizona home. Together, they helped to create Arizona’s distinctive Southwestern fusion cuisine.
The food scene in Arizona is booming, and a lot of modern restaurants are opening up all the time. The traditional meals, though, which might occasionally be a little challenging to obtain but are definitely worth the trip, are one of the things that distinguish Arizona from other states in terms of cuisine.
International eateries providing everything from Korean corn dogs to Jamaican stewed oxtail and Peruvian ceviche can be found in major cities. Phoenix is also dotted with outlets of popular national regional chain restaurants, including a well-known Chicago chicken shack and a beloved New York City food cart.
There are a few meals that remain distinctly Arizonan for both locals and visitors amid all of these intriguing culinary alternatives. These 7 dishes, which reflect the diversity of the state’s people and history, may be a dish with roots in Arizona cuisine or a native ingredient unique to the United States.
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Here are the 7 best food to try out in Arizona:
1. Fry bread
Fry bread first appeared in 1864, during the Navajos’ 300-mile “Long Walk” from Arizona to a reservation in New Mexico. Due to a lack of supplies, the Navajo made dough from flour, water, salt, and baking powder and fried it in lard. Since then, various tribes have adapted the recipe, and nowadays, the fluffy bread is typically topped with beans, pork, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream, and it serves as the shell for taco ingredients. While exploring the Hopi Arts Trail, stop by the Hopi Cultural Center for a taste, or head to the Fry Bread House in Phoenix for the Tohono O’odham tribe’s take on the meal.
The chimichanga, also called a “chimi,” is a sizable burrito that has been deep-fried and is topped with scoops of sour cream and guacamole. According to legend, Monica Flin, the originator of Tucson’s El Charro Café, came up with the chimichanga, also known as a “thingamajig,” in the early 1920s after a burro accidentally fell into the deep fryer she was using. To get your chimi covered with cheese and red enchilada sauce, request that it be served “enchilada style.”
3. Route 66 beer
In Flagstaff, raise a glass of beer in honor of the historic Route 66. The “adventurousness and innovative spirit” of the route, according to Mother Road Brewing, served as the basis for their selection of beers with a travel theme.
While the Limited Visibility hazy IPA features a vibrant illustration of the Blue Swallow Motel, another iconic Route 66 landmark in New Mexico, the Tower Station hoppy IPA’s label features a convertible zooming past the frequently photographed Tower Station and U-Drop Inn on Route 66 in Shamrock, Texas. And of course, the brewery’s taproom in Flagstaff is next to the Mother Road.
4. Mesquite flour
This food staple for American Indians is made from the dried, crushed pods of mesquite trees and has a sweet, somewhat nutty flavor. Due to its high protein content and calcium-rich composition, it is frequently referred to as a superfood. It is frequently used by cooks in Arizona to experiment with bread, pizza dough, pancakes, muffins, and other baked items.
Try AZ Baking Company’s mesquite chocolate chip cookie mix for a delightful mesquite flour experience. Their cookie mixes are a healthy, delicious treat made with mesquite, low-gluten white Sonoran wheat, and vegan chocolate chips.
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5. Medjool dates
Except for its big appearance in a 2007 Western film adaptation starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, Yuma is barely known outside of the city. In addition to generating 90% of the nation’s winter greens, the western Arizona region is also known as America’s lettuce capital and is home to Medjool date groves that produce close to 15 million pounds of the sweet fruit.
The date palms in Yuma produce, gather, and export that many dates each year. At Martha’s Gardens Date Farm, a family-run enterprise that also offers farm tours from November to April, sample the delectable, naturally sweet fruit in everything from shakes to ice cream.
6. Sonoran hot dog
Like deep-dish pizza in Chicago, the Sonoran hot dog is an iconic dish that both visitors and residents of the Southwest love. This Sonora, Mexico, street snack gives its American equivalent a touch from south of the border. It is thought to have been created in the 1940s. The hot dog is supported by a split-top roll called a bolillo in place of a regular bun. It is also covered in bacon and smothered in pinto beans, jalapenos, onions, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and other toppings.
Visit El Guero Canelo or BK’s, two local favorites that evolved from roadside kiosks into restaurant chains with several locations, to try a real Sonoran hot dog. For its outstanding performance, El Guero Canelo won a James Beard 2018 America’s Classics award.
7. Cheese crisp
The cheese crisp can be compared to an open-faced quesadilla. A flour tortilla is first stretched out on a pizza pan, coated with butter, and then roasted for a short time in the oven. The tortilla is topped with cheese (and occasionally green chiles) after it has become gently crisped and is beginning to curl at the edges. It is then placed back in the oven to melt the cheese.
Again, like a pizza, it is sliced into slices and served. Since the late 1930s, the Reynoso family has been serving versions of cheese crisps (and other delectable Mexican food)—first in Globe-Miami and now in Tempe—using recipes created by their family’s nana (grandmother).