Famous Food From Indiana

Hoosier sandwich and fries


There are lots of theories on how Hoosier became the state nickname for Indiana. One thing is certain, it is one of the oldest and most widely accepted state nicknames in American history. “Hoosier” was a term originally used mockingly. Those living in Indiana now claim this term with pride. There is a very strong identity that comes with being a Hoosier. They even have their own food pyramid! The most famous food from Indiana makes up the bottom of that pyramid. And the items that we chose for our state dinner are among that foundation.

Hoosier Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

In 1908, Nick Freienstein, son of German immigrants, opened a street corner restaurant in Huntington, Indiana. He had grown up eating Weiner Schnitzels. He also ran a hamburger cart. Combining these two together he invented the pork tenderloin sandwich. Understanding the two components that made up this dish helps explain why the meat is so much larger than the bun. It’s not a true Hoosier sandwich unless the tenderloin hangs far over the bun. Popularity spread, and at one time more than half of the restaurants in Indiana served a fried pork tenderloin sandwich! I don’t know that statistic is today, but it is safe to say that quite a large number of Indiana restaurants still have this sandwich on the menu.

These sandwiches are usually served with French fries. If you are looking for a well-rounded Indiana dinner we have the perfect French fry recipe for you!

Hoosier Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich on a plate with fries

Sugar Cream Pie

Sugar cream pie originated in the Shaker/Amish communities back in the 1850s. Apple pies were the most common pies in these communities. They would make apple pies until they had used up all of the apples collected during harvest. Then they needed another option for dessert. So they would scrape the cream off the top of their freshly chilled milk, and make a sugar cream pie. This pie is also called “desperation pie” because it is made with ingredients that are almost always on hand at the farm.

The first time I had a sugar cream pie was for our famous food from Indiana dinner. It has quickly moved to the top of my favorites list! It is like creme brulee and snickerdoodles had a pie baby! Creamy, sweet, and delicious!

Sugar Cream Pie shot overhead with two slices removed

Famous Food from Indiana Menu

Indiana State Facts

    • Indiana is the 19th state in the US
    • The first electric streetlight was erected in 1880 in Wabash, Indiana
    • Indiana is considered the covered bridge capital of the world. It has 31 covered bridges in an area spanning 450 square miles
    • The first professional baseball game was played in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1871
    • The world’s largest Christmas tree is found in Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Famous people from Indiana include: Colonel Sanders, Michael Jackson, David Letterman

If this is the first state dinner you have enjoyed with us, check out our journey from the beginning, starting here.


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