Iowa is known for plenty of unique dishes: giant breaded pork tenderloins, loose meat sandwiches, and breakfast pizza. But, which one is the "weirdest?" According to a recent article from Love Food, it's the Ham Ball! The page reads:

"One of Iowa’s stranger signature dishes, think of ham balls as a Midwestern alternative to classic meatballs. They’re made by mixing ground beef and ground ham with blitzed-up graham crackers, forming them into spheres, coating them in a sweet, sticky tomato and brown sugar glaze, and baking them to perfection in the oven. A fail-safe choice for family mealtimes and potluck dinners, they’re juicy, tender, and always go down a treat."

According to the website Mom's Dinner, ham balls are a popular dish in both Iowa and Nebraska. The key is to include ground ham, NOT ground pork. The recipe reads:

"Ground pork is made from the shoulder (aka pork butt). The ham is cut from the leg and is dry or wet cured and sometimes smoked. Ham has the distinct flavor that you are looking for in ham balls.

This can be hard to find in the store. You can buy a ham steak or bone in ham steak and grind it to the consistency of ground beef."

To be totally honest with you, I've never heard of Ham Balls before. That being said, I did grow up in Michigan. But, I somehow haven't heard of their weirdest food either! What the heck is an Olive Burger?!

Some of the other "weird" dishes from surrounding Midwest states include:

  • Illinois - Gravy Bread
  • Minnesota - Tater Tot Hotdish
  • Missouri - St. Paul Sandwich
  • Nebraska - Chili with Cinnamon Rolls
  • South Dakota - Chislic
  • Wisconsin - Kringle

How many of these dishes have you tried? Let us know by shooting us a message on the station app!

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