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Are you ready for our nation’s Independence Day on July 4? This holiday is known for iconic American foods, grilling hamburgers and maybe enjoying a cherry pie. Before you light the grill, check out these regional favorites for inspiration for your 4th of July foods.

Take a tour of the United States this summer from the comforts of your kitchen—or grill!

Hot Dogs

While Coney Island in New York might sound like the birthplace of the infamous Coney hot dog,  historians trace the tradition also to the Midwest. Pay homage to this hot dog style no matter where you are. Top an all-beef hot dog with chili or ground beef, and add mustard and onions.

Pizza

Craving a deep-dish pizza with tons of sauce and cheese? If you can’t make it to Chicago in the Midwest for the city’s infamous pies, you can replicate the texture (and depth) in your own kitchen. Look for a deep-dish dough recipe, as the dough will differ from a typical pizza. You can use a deep-dish pizza pan if you have one, a cast-iron skillet or spring form pan to get the best deep crust. Mimic the traditional toppings—ground turkey sausage, green peppers, mushrooms and garlic are a good place to start!

Corn

Pay homage to Southwestern cuisine by adding a few extra ingredients to your barbecue set-up this summer. Try grilled corn—shuck corn and coat lightly with oil. Place over medium-hot heat on the grill, rotating each ear when dark spots appear. Add cumin, salt and garlic powder to melted butter for toppings, and sprinkle with fresh cilantro.

Okra

In the South, freshly picked okra can transform a traditional gumbo. This vegetable’s unique texture and consistency add something special to soups and stews. Skip the frying pan and try out this grilled okra version for a taste of the South, and a great side dish for any backyard event.

Grilled Okra Recipe

Start with one pound of okra—aim for smaller sizes, as larger okra tends to get woody and tough. Thoroughly wash okra and let dry. Using a sharp knife, slice each piece lengthwise, stopping short of the top. Toss pieces with one tablespoon of oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Preheat grill to high heat. If grating is too wide, skewer okra pieces with one or two wooden dowels, or use a grilling basket. Grill okra covered on high for two to three minutes each side, flipping as needed until even.

What’s Your Favorite 4th of July Dish?

Please add to our list by sharing your recipe in the comments below!

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