In a beautifully titled infographic, “The United Steaks of America,” Slate has decided to lay out the official meat for each state. It’s a noble effort that took significantly more time than simply suggesting that a state roast its official bird. Missouri was given pork spare ribs — a nod to the barbecue in Kansas City and St. Louis — while Kansas was bequeathed burnt ends.
“It’s difficult to imagine a better treatment for ribs than what they do in Missouri,” writes L.V. Anderson. Amen. As for Kansas, she suggests that the reputation of Oklahoma Joe’s and the quality of its burnt ends should let that particular meat migrate across the state line.
“Many Missourians will no doubt be upset by the allocation of burnt ends…Kansas gets burnt ends on a technicality,” writes Anderson.
Oklahoma Joe’s has very nice burnt ends — a great representation of the species. But a gas station does not have the best burnt ends in the area. That title goes to L.C.’s Bar-B-Que (5800 Blue Parkway). And it’s a title with plenty of challengers (Arthur Bryant’s, Danny Edwards fans will also make a strong case) on the Missouri side. The sheer volume of brisket alone and the history of burnt ends that’s indelibly attached to Kansas City, Missouri, means that Kansas can’t receive the title on the strength of a single plate.
And I’ve got a solution. Let’s put burnt ends on the Missouri flag and we’ll give fried chicken to Kansas. [Anderson has a rule of not repeating meats and incredibly the closest thing to fried chicken is chicken-fried steak in Oklahoma.] There’s delicious fried chicken at the Brookville Hotel in Abilene. Chicken Mary’s and Chicken Annie’s have been fighting for supremacy in Pittsburg, Kansas, for the better part of 70 years. And locally, we’ve got Stroud’s in Fairway for family-style dining and Rye in Mission Farms for some high-end fried chicken.
If you had a say in naming the official state meats of Missouri and Kansas, which meat would you tab?[Image via Slate]