Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Things I'd Never Tried Before Coming to Oklahoma:

I think I'm getting all nostalgic for Oklahoma already. And I still have three months left. It's because the "I'm not ready to leave this place yet" conversations are rolling in thick and heavy at my house. I think we have one just about every other day now. 

It's depressing. 

I keep thinking about all the things I'm going to miss about this strangely backward, strangely awesome place that I've come to call my home. 

Tonight, my mind is on food. 

So is my stomach. 

My torso is making sounds eerily similar to a water cooler. 

Anyway, I decided to make a list of all the foods I'd never tried before coming to Oklahoma. I guess some of these things could fall into the "I don't remember previously trying" category, but either way, these are foods that I now love -- and they'll always remind me of good ole Oklahoma. 

1. Cinnamon Toast
This one comes first because I JUST tried it.


Photo from The Pioneer Woman
Mind blowing. 

I didn't think that kind of thing existed outside of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.

But it does. Sha-bam! 

Excuse me while I go make myself a piece.

*recipe courtesy of the ever-awesome Pioneer Woman.

2. Queso 
This one actually has a funny story. When I was a freshman, my friends and I were getting dinner at a Mexican restaurant on Campus Corner when I asked them what this strange menu item called "queso" was. Chaos ensued as everyone stumbled over one another to be the defender and champion of queso's incredibleness. 

It didn't make any sense to me. It was like nacho cheese, but it wasn't like nacho cheese. White, not yellow? Dip at a restaurant, not a jar from the grocery store? Whaaa? 

But I decided to try it. After all, I was a freshman, and one does a lot of stupid things as a freshman. So I boldly stepped up to the counter and ordered. 

"... and I'd like some queso cheese, please."

Everyone behind me laughed. 

I thought it was because of my awesome rhyming skills. 

It wasn't. 

I guess queso actually means cheese in Spanish. 

Anyway... I can assure you that the most embarrassing moment of my freshman year (or at least the only one I still remember) definitely didn't diminish my love for the stuff. Quite the contrary, actually.

Queso is probably going on the Top Ten list of things I most love about Oklahoma in general, right after my roommates. Yup. It's that good.

3. Fried Okra
So tasty. And one of my dad's favorites.

4. Sweet Potato Fries
'Nuf said.

5. Fried Catfish
Mmmmm. The best fried catfish I've ever had was right inside the Oklahoma border. The guy I was dating at the time and I were driving back from Arkansas and just happened to stumble upon an old catfish joint just sitting by the side of the road. 

Random tip about small town dining: Always go where there are the most cars. Always. Because if the locals will eat there, then it's safe for you to eat there too. 

Anyway, definitely the best fried catfish I've ever had. And it was All-You-Can-Eat King Crab day. Need I say more?

6. Raising Cane's Chicken
Possibly the best chicken in the entire world. And that saaaauuuce...... ZOMG.

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