Pennsylvania Is A Gigantic Culinary Stereotype

In one of those evil-genius type collaborations, the Huffington Post and Yelp have combined their powers to come up with a state-by-state list of the most disproportionately popular cuisines in the U.S.. A brief description of their methods:

Yelp figured out which cuisines were most common in each state by examining restaurant listings on its site. The review service uses information pulled by third-party data providers from public records and other sources in order to create its online restaurant listings, according to its website.

To get the data for the map, Yelp first calculated the percentage of total restaurants each cuisine represented in a given state. Then, it compared each percentage with the cuisine’s representation in restaurants nationwide. The resulting map, made by HuffPost, shows the cuisines with a disproportionate level of representation in each state.

Got that? It’s all science-y and what-not, is what they’re saying. And while some state’s data came through as somewhat stereotypical (What? They like Southern food in Georgia? And buffets in Iowa? How did THAT happen?), Pennsylvania’s list of most disproportionately popular grub might just as well have been decorated with an Eagles hat and tiny little Rocky statues.

I mean, ok. We’re talking proportional results here, so it’s really no surprise that Pennsylvania had a larger-than-normal share of cheesesteak joints. But here’s how our top five shook out:

Cheesesteaks — 260% higher than national average.
Pizza — 60% higher
Italian — 49% higher
Diners — 46% higher
Delis — 45% higher

I mean, really? Couldn’t we just have come off slightly less predictably? Rhode Island, for example, has an incidence of Portugese restaurants 1,187% higher than the national average. That’s cool. People in Utah apparently love both hot dogs and Hawaiian food. In Washington State, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean and Japanese restaurants all made their list. And in Virginia (yes, Virginia), you’re 162% more likely to find a Peruvian restaurant than anywhere else in the United States. And that, to me, is surprising.

I don’t know… Maybe there’s something to be said for Pennsylvanians knowing what we’re good at and knowing what we like (which is, apparently, carbs). But I’m just hoping that one of these days, a list comes out about the cuisine or eating habits of Pennsylvanian or Philly that doesn’t have cheesesteaks at the top of it.

You can check out the map of food preferences and a list of all 50 state’s top five results below.

Disproportionately Popular Cuisines, by State [HuffPo]