August 8th, 2014 | Martin Cizmar Food & Drink | Posted In: The 50 Plates

Should Oregon's State Food be a Berry, a Beer or a Crab?

Vote Now for Marionberries, Beer or Dungeness Crab in our 50 Plates Tour

statefood
It's down to three.

After hundreds of submissions and votes, we have three contenders to represent Oregon in Willamette Week's 50 Plates tour of the signature dish of all 50 states. That dish also wins a lobbying effort in Salem.

We closed the primary round at midnight. The three top entries are now finalists in a vote that ends Tuesday at midnight.

Those finalists are: Marionberries, Beer and the Dungeness crab.

These three very different foodstuffs got here in different ways.

Before formal polling began, marionberries were the odds-on favorite based on the number of pro-berry comments during the nomination process. This well-loved blackberry variant was invented in Oregon, and is versatile enough to find its way into iconic foods such as Tillamook's marionberry pie ice cream and actual pies like Shari's berry trio, where it's the standout.

Beer made a surprisingly strong showing, likely because Willamette Week readers are pretty into beer, even compared to other Oregonians, and because beer means jobs—and $1.2 billion for our small state economy. but also likely due to the charming irony of Oregon's state food being an alcoholic beverage.

Dungeness crab came out of nowhere, perhaps partly thanks to lobbying by coastal crabbers on Twitter and because the distinctive crustacean is a staple across the state in cool winter months.

Can the marionberry's wide popularity carry it through the general election? Will the joke "our state food is beer" age well? Can the crab supporters mount a successful social media campaign in a smaller, stronger field?

It's time to find out.

UPDATE: Beer has dropped out of the race, because it is not a food. Vote between marionberry and Dungeness crab here.
 
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