In my opinion, Oklahoma suffers from an identity crisis in a life or death category. Food.
Our bar-b-que of choice seems to borrow heavily on the Texas style (beef based, saucy, and lot's of it) method of congestive heart failure uber-feasting.
Our Chinese fare is favored in lowest-common-denominator tasteless portions via buffet lines as long as the panhandle juts out to the west.
The Mexican food is decent enough, albeit somewhat generic. I've yet to find a greasy, hardcore East L.A. all-night taco stand with buckets of pickled serrano chiles and raw radishes there for the taking.
Burgers are king, sandwiches are aplenty (except for a good pastrami, but I digress), and donut shops are decently represented even though I'm ever hopeful to stumble upon a Cambodian owned house of round fried dough delectibles.
Meanwhile, back on the ranch, our land run bred culinary stylings have circumnavigated the idea of coming up with a single representative dish, and instead have chosen to pursue perfecting dishes that other states proudly claim as their own.
Chicken Fried Steak. Fried okra. Chili. Cinnamon rolls. Biscuits and gravy. Brisket. Pizza. Fried Chicken even.
Of this foodie faux paux, a "glass is half full" person may say that we do it all well, so we don't really have to specialize in one thing.
A "glass is half empty" person may remark that we didn't create anything unique, so we had to do a "Made in Japan" and imitate dishes that others have made.
Finally, a "glass is sitting in dirty dishwasher" person my swear up and down that we're a pretty young state and haven't had the time to develop our own dish, so stop 'yer yammering and pass the gravy bowl.
I have it on good authority that the modern classic Onion Fried Burger can be traced to a small town south of here on Route 66. Good as they are, they can hardly qualify as a statewide culinary phenomenon.
What may be of more import on this topic, is that good eats and atmospheric eateries abound across the state on every highway, interstate, or small town backroad you happen across.
Treasures of comfortable food and drink can be found on several corners of my small town's downtown, which serves as a pretty good measuring stick for the taste defying treats awaiting travelers with a gumption for a satisfying case of near gluttony.
However, I'm skeptical that Oklahoma will ever be one of those states that tourists travel through or fly over, saying to themselves, "Someday I'm gonna get myself to Oklahoma and try some of that famous [insert dish here] that I've always heard about."
I don't know. Perhaps my adopted home state doesn't need to be able to have a dish to call it's very own. We're still so busy living down the whole, Grapes of Wrath, mattress-toting-huckster image, that tying our state identity to a particular dish may seem a silly idea when compared to the many other issues facing our states tourism industry.
Now stop 'yer yammering and pass the gravy bowl.