What’s better than waking up to sizzling bacon and fresh-cooked eggs? Waking up in Delaware to the smell of scrapple, or in New Jersey to the hangover cure that is Taylor Ham. Across the U.S., people are cooking up some unreal—and unusual—breakfast dishes, including these eight regional favorites that should be on every morning menu.
1. SPAM MUSUBI // HAWAII
You read that right: Spam for breakfast. Hawaii took that questionable blue can and turned it into a popular snack-turned-breakfast dish. Spam musubi puts a slice of grilled Spam between two blocks of rice, wrapped up with a sliver of dried seaweed. In other words, Spam sushi.
2. GOETTA // OHIO
Goetta, a mix of ground pork shoulder, beef, onion, spices, and pinhead oats, may sound more bizarre than appetizing, but it’s actually a breakfast icon in the greater Cincinnati area. The dish (pronounced get-uh) is a product of Cincinnati’s German roots, and is celebrated so widely that it has its own annual festival—the Glier’s GoettaFest in Newport, Kentucky. Meat lovers, mark your calendars: the next GoettaFest is August 2017. Until then, you can make your own at home to serve up with other breakfast staples like eggs and hashbrowns, or pancakes and syrup.
3. SHRIMP 'N' GRITS // THE SOUTH
While it started as a quick breakfast for busy fishermen, shrimp 'n' grits have evolved into one of the south’s most sought-after comfort foods. Southerners dress up this porridge-y mix of seafood and cornmeal with toppings like bacon, jalapeños, peppers, and mushrooms.
4. TAYLOR HAM // NEW JERSEY
Taylor Ham—or "pork roll" depending on who you ask—has been an east coast favorite since 1856, when John Taylor of Trenton, New Jersey, introduced his secret pork roll recipe. Taylor Ham is sliced, grilled, and served on a round roll, typically accompanied by egg and cheese. While various types of pork rolls are served worldwide, New Jerseyans agree: The secret Taylor Ham recipe is the only way to go, and a bill was even introduced in April 2016 to make it the official state sandwich.
5. BEIGNET // NEW ORLEANS
New Orleans locals know the best mornings begin with powdered sugar and carbs. The beignet—a pastry made from deep-fried dough—originated in France, and has evolved into a staple Creole dish, served fresh and hot with bananas, plantains, and a heavy dash of powdered sugar.
6. JOHNNYCAKES // NEW ENGLAND
With a recipe that only requires cornmeal, boiling water, and a dash of salt and sugar, the Johnnycake may seem like a dull breakfast option, but it's a tradition New Englanders have sworn by since the pilgrims landed at Plymouth. When their wheat spoiled on the Mayflower’s journey to America, the pilgrims adapted and learned to cook with corn as the Native Americans did. Today, the unleavened Johnnycake is served with maple syrup, honey, and a variety of other sweet toppings.
7. SCRAPPLE // DELAWARE
As a loaf of pork trimmings combined with cornmeal and flour, it’s easy to see where scrapple got its name. Scraps of pig snouts. Scraps of leftover livers. Scraps of (gulp) hearts. But Mid-Atlantic residents know the "don't ask, don't tell" approach is well worth it for the absolutely mind-boggling tastes this Delaware delicacy has to offer.
8. ENCHILADAS MONTADAS // NEW MEXICO
New Mexico turns the traditional enchilada into a huge, gooey, scrumptious breakfast meal. The enchilada montada consists of enchiladas stacked with red or green sauce, and onion and cheese layered throughout. The cherry on top of this southwestern delicacy? A fried egg. Elastic waistbands recommended.