photograph of Iowa sorghum field

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Food culture is a shared culture.  There is no better way to discover a region's identity or learn its history than by tasting it.  And for Iowa, that means a journey through the cornfields to find the culinary stories that make this state unique and unite all Iowans.  This website is a delicious way to start that journey.

Wendy Wasserman
Edible Iowa River Valley

The flavors of Iowa derive from a variety of regional and ethnic traditions.  There are fish and shellfish supplied by the state’s rivers and lakes, the fruits, vegetables and meats supplied by our farms, and game from the flyways and woods. Iowans produce food for community suppers, cafés, homes, holidays, houses of worship, restaurants, farmers markets, fairs, festivals, and so on. Different groups that made Iowa their home over the years have each added their own distinct contribution to Iowa’s culinary heritage.

The following collection of food stories comes from interviews across the state ~ each revealing a treasure of culturally unique food traditions. These stories are a selection from the many Iowa food stories.

Rhubarb and Dandelion wines from the Amana Colonies

Dutch letters

K&K Popcorn

Massdam Sorghum

Maytag Blue Cheese


Muscatine Melons

Pawpaws, Black Walnuts, and Maple Syrup

Pork Tenderloin


"Foods that promote regional identity and culinary-tourism can enhance commerce and community vitality. Place-based foods create a unique and delicious opportunity for rural development."

Christine Pardee

Executive Director,
Iowa Rural Development Council

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