Each State’s Favorite Sauce (Hint: There’s a reason why it’s on most restaurant tables)

By Kathy Morris - Apr. 1, 2021

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Did you celebrate March being National Sauce Month?

Probably not, but judging from America’s overwhelming consumption of sauces- and all the servers who have to ask, “Need any ketchup?” a million times a shift- maybe you should have.

Have no worries, in honor of the highly serious, esteemed holiday, we decided to uncover each state’s favorite sauce.

Since a sauce is “thick liquid served with food, usually savory dishes, to add moistness and flavor,” everything from beloved condiments to good old spaghetti sauce was a contender.

The results? Turns out, most of America is the kid who eats their steak with ketchup. And basically everything else.

Most Interesting Findings

  • 24 states love classic, if basic, ketchup the best.
  • After ketchup, tomato sauce (basically thicker fancier ketchup) and bbq sauce are most popular.
  • Interestingly, 4 of the 5 states that favor bbq sauce are on the south Atlantic coast.
  • While mayo is generally popular with high search volume, only one state favors it.
  • Move over maple syrup (not counted as a sauce), Vermonters have a taste for siracha!
  • Only South Dakota loves ranch best, which seems like poor judgement on other states’ parts.
  • Tartar sauce is beloved in Alaska (which makes sense) and Montana (which doesn’t.)
  • Fry sauce- a VERY Utah staple- is Utahans favorite sauce.

How We Determined This

Using Google Trends, we determined what sauce each state is dipping, smearing, and just overall consuming a disproportionate amount of. We made a list of 25 most popular sauces. From there, we determined what sauce is searched a disproportionately, high amount in each state.

For example, while Vermont uses all the sauces the rest of the country does, the search interest in “Siracha sauce” is disproportionately higher than the remaining states- making “Siracha sauce” more popular in Vermont than anywhere else.

Some controversial decisions were made, including not counting salsa as a sauce. While salsa may mean sauce in Spanish, after exhaustive research we concluded it fell more into dip territory. Sorry, salsa fanatics.

We looked at a whole year of search data, giving each state plentiful time to reveal their fervor for all the sauces.

But at the end of the day, the search volume doesn’t lie. The red in America’s red, white, and blue might just be ketchup, because it swept (or sauced) the nation.

Each State’s Favorite Condiment

State Sauce
Alabama Ketchup
Alaska Tartar sauce
Arizona Ketchup
Arkansas Worcestershire sauce
California Ketchup
Colorado Ketchup
Connecticut Ketchup
Delaware Barbecue sauce
Florida Ketchup
Georgia Ketchup
Hawaii Mayonnaise
Idaho Ketchup
Illinois Ketchup
Indiana Ketchup
Iowa Ketchup
Kansas Ketchup
Kentucky Gravy
Louisiana Tabasco
Maine Relish
Maryland Ketchup
Massachusetts Tomato sauce
Michigan Ketchup
Minnesota Tomato sauce
Mississippi Gravy
Missouri Gravy
Montana Tartar sauce
Nebraska Ketchup
Nevada Worcestershire sauce
New Hampshire Tomato sauce
New Jersey Ketchup
New Mexico Vinaigrette
New York Ketchup
North Carolina Barbecue sauce
North Dakota Ketchup
Ohio Ketchup
Oklahoma Gravy
Oregon Tomato sauce
Pennsylvania Ketchup
Rhode Island Cocktail sauce
South Carolina Barbecue sauce
South Dakota Ranch dressing
Tennessee Barbecue sauce
Texas Ketchup
Utah Fry sauce
Vermont Sriracha sauce
Virginia Barbecue sauce
Washington Tomato sauce
West Virginia Ketchup
Wisconsin Ketchup
Wyoming Ketchup

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Kathy Morris

Kathy is the head of content at Zippia with a knack for engaging audiences. Prior to joining Zippia, Kathy worked at Gateway Blend growing audiences across diverse brands. She graduated from Troy University with a degree in Social Science Education.

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Topics: Food, Get The Job, Guides