Consider this your family small talk cheat sheet for this Thanksgiving. The Upshot has a useful new post that presents what it claims are the most distinct recipes in every state, according to some wrangling of Google analytics.
The analysis doesn't show the most popular dish, since as it says, that would just be turkey. Instead it takes the searches for recipes and refines them to show how much more popular they are in each state compared to the rest of the country. Here's a more thorough explanation of how the research was conducted by Google:
The underlying analysis was conducted by Google researchers, in response to a request from The Upshot. The researchers began the analysis by producing a list of dishes that Americans have searched for at least twice as often during Thanksgiving week as they do over the rest of the year. The period of the analysis covered 10 years, 2004 to 2013. The researchers then compared the frequency of a search term in a given state — again, during the week of Thanksgiving — to the frequency nationwide. The numbers accompanying the dishes above report that multiple. Californians, for example, search for persimmon bread about four times more often, per capita, than residents of other states do.
From there, it breaks down into 52 individual explanations about what each state or territory is eating. The numbers on the right side are how much more often the state searches for the recipe than the rest of the country. Here's one of the most distinct, Cookie salad, from North Dakota:
And here's the best boring-ass Montana can come up with, ....fruit salad:
There are 50 more of these, which you should probably memorize, because what the hell else are you going to talk about with your relatives?