Election day is here.
After receiving hundreds of suggestions—many thoughtful or funny, some not—we’ve narrowed the ballot of Oregon’s possible state foods to 11.
Now, we will begin the voting process, which will happen in two stages. From now until Friday, you can vote for Oregon’s state food using the poll below. Beginning Friday, the top choices will compete in a runoff election that ends on Tuesday.
We will publish the results in our August 20 issue, the culmination of the 50 Plates series, which has found us traveling around Portland to eat Texas Frito pie, gelatinous cod from Minnesota, Rhode Island coffee milk and much more.
The poll is at bottom. But, first, here’s your voter’s pamphlet, with sample language for the bills we’ll be lobbying Salem to pass in order to curry favor with you, Oregon’s most important demographic, before the November election.
Good luck to the foods below and may God help the man or woman who dares oppose the eventual winner of this culinary election.
1. Whereas the mighty marionberry was developed at taxpayer expense by the Oregon university system and has gone on to be beloved by all as a most excellent berry fresh, blended into ice cream or baked into pies, we the people of Oregon demand that our state legislature recognize this wonderful blackberry variant by making it our official state food, or at least right the grievous wrong of the gutless 75th Oregon Legislative Assembly by officially recognizing the marionberry as our state berry.
2. Whereas the perfectly serviceable kotataberry is a blackberry cultivar that was also developed in Oregon, is also grown in Oregon, is prized for its cold-heartiness, and whereas some people apparently knowingly choose to purchase the kotata instead of the marionberry—but with full knowledge that most people greatly prefer the marionberry—we the people of Oregon ask that the kotataberry be recognized as the state food.
3. Whereas Oregonians love beer, make a lot of beer, and would enjoy confusing outsiders, we the people of Oregon ask that our official state food be a beverage.
4. Whereas Oregon is a leader in hazelnut production, and whereas a bowl of candied hazelnuts pairs perfectly with hoppy Oregon-brewed India Pale Ale, and being that the hazelnut has served faithfully as Oregon's state nut since 1989, we the people of Oregon ask that the hazelnut be promoted to our official state food or at least be made our state bar snack.
5. Being that Tillamook's sharp cheddar cheese is the most delicious mass-produced cheese in the state of Oregon and is a wonderful addition to bacon cheeseburgers or delicious on its own, the people of Oregon humbly beseech our elected representatives to recognize sharp cheddar as our official state food or at least our preferred cheddar.
6. Whereas a maple doughnut topped with bacon is delightfully weird, reasonably delicious, and especially popular with visitors to Portland, we the people of Oregon ask that the bacon-topped maple doughnut be deemed the State of Oregon's official food.
7. Being that pemmican made from fat, dried lean meat and berries was a staple food of Oregon residents for millennia prior to European contact, and in recognition of the fact that it is now somewhat popular with modern Paleo dieters, we people of Oregon ask the state to recognize pemmican as our state foodstuff.
8. Whereas the Dungeness crab is a treasure of the Oregon coast enjoyed by diners statewide during otherwise bleak winter months, and whereas the Dungeness crab has served with distinction as the state crustacean since 2009, we the people of Oregon ask the state promote the Dungeness to our official state food.
9. Whereas the Chinook Salmon has served swimmingly as Oregon’s state fish since 1961, and in recognition of the fact that unlike the Dungeness crab the Chinook Salmon is not odious to observant Jews and people with shellfish allergies, we the people ask that this large and delicious salmon be promoted to our state’s official food.
10. In consideration of all the many ways in which Jojos are superior to a simple french fry, and in recognition of all the many patrons of dive bars and bodegas who depend on this staple foodstuff for their very survival, we the people of Oregon ask that the Jojo be deemed our states official food, or at least our official fried potato.
11. In recognition of Oregon native James Beard’s many contributions to American culinary arts, and in honor of his unique talent for turning the most basic ingredients into something wonderful, we ask that the state of Oregon recognize James Beard's onion sandwich
This round of voting has been closed. Please vote in the final round here.