Welcome to a new series of US state-inspired snack ideas and snack mixes that will give a local flavor to your road trip through all 50 states. Here I’ll feature regional snacks that each state is known for and combine them into one scrumptious savory and sweet snack mix to eat on the road. First up is my home state: Illinois. So what Illinois road trip snacks should you pack and what’s in an Illinois snack mix recipe?
Read on to find the Illinois-themed snacks that are perfect to munch on while cruising the state’s section of Route 66, driving through the corn fields, or speeding through Chicago to climb to the top of the Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower.
Illinois Road Trip Snacks
The Goldrush apple is the official state fruit of Illinois, so for a healthy road trip snack, the apple is the way to go. If you’re traveling in Illinois in the fall, stop at a local farm for an apple picking adventure or, for a more car-friendly snack, pick up some apple chips like those used in the recipe below!
If you’ve ever driven through Illinois, the official state vegetable will come at no shock: sweet corn. Illinois is the second largest producer of corn in the United States (after Iowa) and corn has been officially designated as the state vegetable since 2015 and also as the state grain since 2018.
Celebrate corn on your Illinois road trip by digging your teeth into a buttery corn on the cob at a state or country fair. Or, for a road-trip-friendly snack alternative, try some corn nuts (roasted or deep-fried corn kernels).
Did you know that popcorn is the official state snack of Illinois? It’s only fitting as the official state vegetable is corn. If you’re in Chicago you must try a famed mix that mixes buttery caramel, and sharp cheese varieties into one salty, savory, sweet concoction. It’s so yummy!
While popcorn might have won out for official state snack of Illinois, it had a lot of competition. Among them, Beer Nuts. What are beer nuts? Beer nuts are peanuts with a sweet-and-salty glazing that were invented in Illinois in the 1950s. And don’t worry about drinking and driving: there is no actual beer used in making these nuts, they are just named because they were available in bars to go along with that drink.
Pumpkin pie is the official pie of Illinois. And I’m pretty sure pie is the official dessert of the road trip diner. So be sure to pull over on your Illinois road trip and top your diner meal off with a slice of rich and creamy pumpkin pie.
Want more? For the ultimate Illinois road trip snack, try this Illinois snack mix recipe that combines all the best flavors in the state into one easy-to-eat package perfect for snacking on the road whether you’re visiting the city of Chicago or the world’s largest catsup bottle, .
This Illinois snack mix combines all the official state snacks and best-known flavors into one treat that’s perfect to take on the road.
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry area.