"Official" state items are a perennial favorite topic on the 13th Floor -- Kentucky's clogging, Hawaii's humuhumunukunukuapua, Georgia's clay, New Hampshire's pumpkins.
I've even, on one previous occasion, dropped all pretense of journalistic disinterest and extolled the virtues of one official state fruit. (SERIOUSLY, you need to try those apples.)
But all that isn't going to stop me from doing it again.
I was in Maine last week for the first time. (Loved it, btw.) I tried Moxie, a local soft drink that's been around since 1884. It's never been distributed nationally, but it's considered a New England favorite.
A lot of people are turned off by the soda's bitter taste. It's like root beer with a bitter aftertaste. Maybe that doesn't sound appealing to you, but I actually really loved it. Like, really.
So imagine my gladness when I found out that Maine's state lawmakers had the good sense a couple years ago to designate Moxie as the state's official drink.
Oh, here's another fun fact: the derivation of the word "moxie" actually comes from the drink, and not the other way around, as I'd assumed. As far as I can figure, this has to be the only soda whose name has become a word unto itself.
And if this isn't enough info for you, here's more Moxiana than you could ever imagine.