“Kaleifornia” and the United States of Food Puns
Late last year, food blogger Chris Durso and his 8-year-old son Cameron came up with an appetizing new project that combined their craving for new cuisine, their clever taste for puns, and a dash of politics. The premise? What would happen if we made states out of food (literally) and gave them adorable, punny names? In no time, the duo was crafting state-themed puns and whipping up batches of food to match. “The Foodnited States of America,” as it came to be called, has since become an Internet sensation. As a word junkie and also a human being who relies on food for survival, I love this story, partly for the food shapes but mostly for the great puns that this pair came up with. Here are just a few examples:
Could this one BE any more fitting? If I know anything about the West Coast from the dozens of LA-based movies I’ve watched, it’s that Californians love oceans, water cooler conversations about traffic and, most importantly, staying healthy. The stereotype is that they’ll toss granola, chickpeas, organic carrots and grass in a blender and call it breakfast, which is a superpower that I will never have. It only makes sense, then, that is state pun involves kale. Donutifornia just doesn’t have the same ring.
I’ve been trying to figure it out: do the holes in Swissconsin represent Wisconsin’s predilection for bubbly “soda pop” or all of the frozen lakes that its residents will hang out on? A mystery for the ages.
Had I not learned last week that “quinoa” is pronounced “keen-wa” and not “kin-oh-uh,” I would have angrily messaged this father demanding that he hold himself to better grammatical standards. (I’m kidding. I would silently fume over the situation until I realized how illogical I was being.) But because I know the truth, I’m instead left admiring the brilliance of Quinoashington and wondering if celebrity-food puns are next up on Durso’s list. (Kerry Quinoashington?)
Cransas is not my favorite term on this list, but only because the voice saying it in my head sounds like an obnoxious, alternate universe version of myself that drags out every “a” sound. Like “Craaaaanassss” or “Fraaaaannncis” or “Maaaaaannnn this is annoying.”
I’d much rather associated Idaho with pies than potatoes. Thanks to Piedaho, I can do just that. This sweet portmanteau represents a delicious slice of the great American Pie. (When you’ve been looking at puns for this long, they just start coming out, okay?!?)
Now that you have images of pie in your mind, I can safely introduce the least appealing dish on this list: Arkanslaw, which is a mix of Arkansas and Cole Slaw. The name can be significantly improved, though, if you change Arkanslaw to Arkanclaw and imagine a Southern superhero with a giant radioactive claw as his weapon. His archrival has yet to be determined but Kaleifornia is definitely in the running.
If we can’t declare Germany the pretzel capital of the world, can’t we at least rename Pennsylvania to Pretzelvania? There are too many Ns in Pennsylvania anyway and Pretzelvania is much easier to spell.
Wyoming is great and all but wouldn’t it be better if it were filled with mountains of bread instead of mountains of rock? (Wouldn’t the world be better if regular mountains were replaced with bread mountains?) These are the fantasies that pop into my head when I hear this pun, along with visions of Holden Caulfield frolicking around with his little hunting hat.
Pork Lo Maine
It may not be the most creative name on the list, but Durso’s Pork Lo Maine is easily the most artistic item on the list. I’d be tempted to say it’s the “main dish” of this list if I hadn’t already exhausted my pun quota today.
Georgia peaches? How about Georgia cheese? Durso and his son were on the right track when they invented Georgianzola. (They were also probably getting hungry at this point.)
New Hampshire is not suffering from some rampant spam email problem. This pun refers to spam the canned meat product that continues to be just as unappetizing as it sounds. (A quick Google search has revealed, however, that “email spam” originated from a Monty Python sketch in which the food was presented as “inescapable.” The more you know.)
Chicken by the Sea? More like Tuna by the See.