Snacks are one of the best parts of a road trip. But why limit yourself to treats you can find at any convenience store along the nation’s highway?
The next time you get the munchies on an epic road trip, skip the Cheetos and Doritos and sample these regional favorites instead.
1. Zapp’s Potato Chips: The flavors of the Bayou make these kettle chips stand out among their run-of-the-mill counterparts in the South. You can’t go wrong with the Spicy Cajun Crawtators -- a crunchy, crawfish boiled-flavored chip -- but the vinegary, slightly-sweet Voodoo chips are a close second.
2. Date shake: Watch for billboards and road signs along Interstate 8 from Palm Springs to Yuma, Arizona, advertising date shakes, a blended treat that combines vanilla ice cream and local dates. Sold at date farm stores and tourist spots, these are perfect or those 100-plus-degree desert days.
3. Big John’s Pickled Sausage: Forget that green pickle. In the Southeast, when you want something sour, you grab something red from Big John’s. We prefer Big John’s Pickled Sausage, but if you want to go really local, try the pickled eggs or pickled pig’s feet. (Available in Red Hots flavor.)
4. Garrett Popcorn: It’s worth a detour to one of the several Garrett Popcorn Shops in Chicago for this road trip-worthy snack. Try the local favorite Garrett Mix, a blend of CaramelCrisp and CheeseCorn flavors.
5. Cheerwine: You can find Cheerwine -- a highly-carbonated, cherry-flavored soft drink, which despite its name, contains no alcohol -- in almost every state (if you search hard enough). But in North Carolina and much of the South, when you need something to wash down salty chips or BBQ, Cheerwine is a must.
6. Boiled peanuts: Another Southern staple, boiled peanuts are actually just what they sound like -- freshly-harvested, “green” peanuts (not roasted) boiled in heavily salted, spiced, or ham water. These damp, in-the-hull treats can be found at roadside stands and most convenience stores.
7. Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets: When you want something sweet for the road in Philadelphia -- or pretty much anywhere in the region -- look no further than Tastykake. The Hostess rival is known for its Butterscotch Krimpets -- a fluffy, moist cake topped with a thick layer of butterscotch icing.