Summer Snacking: Our Favorite Flavors Across the U.S.

June 24, 2016 - Article reads in
A variety of snacks are pictured on a red checkered background

A sip of cold, creamy root beer on a sweltering day. The unmistakable, tempting smell of cheese curds frying at the local fair. Butter melting down a fresh-grilled ear of sweet corn…there’s just something about summer that screams for amazing food.

From boiled peanuts or pimento cheese to saltwater taffy, everyone’s got that favorite summer snack that gets you feeling a little nostalgic—and that just tastes like home. But if you’re jonesing for new flavor infusions (and can’t quite swing a cross-country road trip this summer), we’ve got you covered. Sit back and enjoy a (virtual) taste of tried-and-true and new-to-you snacks from across the U.S.

Whether you’re looking to indulge or want to keep it a just a bit lighter, you’ll love this delicious list. And while many of these flavor finds are only available regionally, your local Target and have tons of summer snacking inspiration, including better-for-you fare like Simply Balanced snacks.

Zapp's Potato Chips (Louisiana)Red and yellow bag of Spicy Cajun Crawtators chipsTaste buds get a major kick with these thick-cut kettle chips in Cajun-inspired flavors like "Spicy Cajun Crawtator," "Sour Cream and Creole Onion" and "Cajun Dill Gator-tators.” Zapp’s are a true southern staple, spicing up barbeques, tailgates and your living room couch since 1985.

Goose Island Craft Soda (Illinois)Five bottles of craft soda, including root beer, orange cream, vanilla cream, concord grape and spicy gingerThe Windy City loves Goose Island craft brews (we’re big fans, too), but you may not know that the beloved brewery also does hand-crafted sodas! Their Chicago-style root beer is a local favorite, but flavors like spicy ginger, vanilla cream and concord grape are great summer sips, too.

Just Cookies (California)Simple white box with a close-up of a double chocolocate esspresso cookie and crumbsJust Cookies have all the gooey sweet flavors you crave (double chocolate espresso and lemon snickerdoodle, anyone?), but are completely vegan—no butter, no eggs, less cholesterol and are sustainably-made. Most importantly, they’re just delicious.

Utz Chips (Pennsylvania)White and yellow bag of Utz jalapeno cheddar chipsUtz aren’t just big in their home state of Pennsylvania, they’ve got a dedicated cult following in Maryland, too, with flavors like salt ‘n vinegar, red hot and even the “Crab Chip.” They really are HeluvaGood!

Skeeter Snacks (Connecticut)A cartoon squirrel holds a no peanuts sign on a blue box of mini chocolate chip cookiesMeet Skeeter—a squirrel who’s allergic to nuts! The Skeeter line of snacks (including a variety of cookie and graham cracker flavors) are always completely nut-free, making sure every kid has a safe, allergy-free and fun treat to enjoy.

Rogue Root Beer (Oregon)Glass bottle of root beer with a red, white and blue Rogue Soda labelRoot beer’s a summertime classic, but this one from Rogue Ale & Spirits out of Ashland, is extra-special. Craft-brewed in small batches with a touch of honey right from Rogue Farms, this drink will make the young and young-at-heart smile. For a fun twist on the traditional root beer float, add a scoop of your favorite ice cream to Rogue’s honey orange or citrus cucumber sodas.

Chifles (Florida)White and green bag of plantain chipsFloridians are already in on the secret, but if you’re looking for a natural, healthier alternative to traditional potato chips, this just might be your ticket! While living in Ecuador, Segundo and Peggy Argudo fell in love with fried plantain chips or “chifles,” (pronounced CHIEF-les). When they later moved to Tampa, they brought the delicacy with, starting a small family business selling tasty treats. The tradition continues today with the original, plus cassava chips, tortilla chips and soup mixes.

Woats (Texas)White and brown bag of cookies n dreams woats16-year-old Justin Anderson always loved granola, but not the sticky mess it caused with his braces. So, he took over his mom’s kitchen and whipped up the idea for Woats—wholesome oats with a touch of indulgent fun in flavors like “Cookies ‘n’ Dreams” and “Jammin’ Strawberry Shortbread.” They’re perfect for on-the-go breakfast or an afternoon energy boost.

Big Papi’s Kitchen (New England)Label for Big Papi's Caribbean HummusTo round out our list, here’s a soon-to-be fan favorite from Boston Red Sox’s David “Big Papi” Ortiz. His Big Papi’s Kitchen line of chips, salsa and hummus is sure to be a grand slam when it makes its Target debut in a few weeks. 

Have a favorite regional snack? Share in the comments.

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