"What if we did states made out of food? And we can call them New Pork or New Jerky." The idea for the project that is now the Foodnited States of America was suggested by food blogger Chris Durso's 8-year-old son, Cameron. The puns came quickly afterward, Durso told Vox in an email. A little over a year later, the project is now complete with all 50 states.
You can take a closer look at each state on Facebook and Instagram. The production was not always as easy as the puns, with some states proving much more of a challenge to create than others. Simple rectangular states like Ryeoming were the simplest to create. Georgianzola, on the other hand, was particularly difficult.
"Trying to form soft cheese into the state of Georgia on a hot summer day is no fun," Durso says.
Durso says he and his son tried to produce as little food waste as possible in the process. He's been known to eat the finished states, and leftover supplies became extra food in the house.
"South Dakota made for a great excuse to buy Cocoa Puffs," he says.
The last state they made for the series was New Pork, which Durso says he had decided early on would be the final creation. "New Pork" is the first state his son came up with, and it became the inspiration for the whole series.
The state Durso is most proud of? That would be West Virgingerbread Man.
"I think it's because it was the most challenging to produce, since I actually had to bake, which I'm not very good at, and then pipe a face on it, which I'm even worse at," he says.
West Virgingerbread Man was one of the most well-received entries in the series, and it was also his son's favorite state to eat.
Now that the father-son team has finished America, they're ready to take over the world. Their next project will focus on "foodniting" countries around the globe.