When you think of Missouri and its most popular foods, the first thing that comes to mind is probably some kind of BBQ, usually ribs. However, that's only one of this region's most delicious dishes and when visiting this great state, you might be surprised to find that there's so much more on most restaurant menus than expected. The best parts about Missouri's state cuisine are the collections of fusion foods that make it what it is, from Italian to Chinese and everything in between.

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Even the state's most iconic dessert is crave-worthy and the good news is, you can find it all over the place - there's no shortage of any of these dishes. You might be visiting Missouri to tour St. Louis but you'll end up staying just for the food. On any Missouri vacation, these are the dishes that must be tried at least once... You can thank us later.

Toasted Ravioli

Toasted ravioli can be found all over the country but no state specializes in it as Missouri does. Whether it's an appetizer or the main dish, these ravioli are tender, cheesy, and perfectly spiced. The process is simple: fresh ravioli gets breaded with Italian-style breadcrumbs before being deep-fried to golden-brown perfection.

They're usually topped with some fresh parsley and parmesan cheese before being served on a plate with warm marinara sauce. Regular ravioli are good but fried ravioli is something different altogether; it's cheesy and delicious in all the best possible ways, and you won't be able to stop after just one.

Gerber Sandwich

The Gerber Sandwich might sound like it has everything to do with the baby food brand but don't worry - it's not even related. The sandwich originated in St. Louis and has since become a staple in the state's food culture, and it all starts with a piece of garlic bread.

On top of that, cooked ham and a type of cheese called Provel are added. Wondering what Provel is? In short, it's a processed blend of Swiss, provolone, mozzarella cheese which gives it an incredibly melted texture with a big wallop of flavor. The sandwich is broiled and finished with a light sprinkling of paprika for smokiness.

St. Paul Sandwich

One of the most unique sandwiches in the state, and probably in the country, the St. Paul was created around one main ingredient: egg foo yung. The egg foo yung serves as the 'burger' patty for this sandwich that also gets topped with mayo, lettuce, tomato, and pickles.

The whole thing is sandwiched between plain white bread and while it seems unusual, the fusion of cuisines that go into making this dish work surprisingly well.

St. Louis BBQ

St. Louis-style BBQ goes above and beyond the call of typical BBQ and it's unique in the sense that it's not slow-smoked like most other styles. The BBQ sauce that's used is tomato-based which gives it much more of an acidic flavor, combined with liquid smoke and traditional spices.

The most traditional BBQ served in Missouri is a rack of ribs. The way these are cut gives them a recognizable rectangular appearance which is also a signature style of St. Louis BBQ. In terms of flavor, the ribs are smothered with a sauce that makes them stickier and bolder than smoked ribs, which isn't everyone's style but it's definitely worth trying.

Slinger

The Slinger plate is also known as a Wilbur, or, in short, the perfect cure early-morning cure for a late-night out. It's similar to Upstate New York's garbage plate in the sense that it's piled high with ingredients that start with a base of fried eggs, hamburger patties, has browns, chili, and grated cheese.

Chopped onions are the final touch on this dish and add a much-needed texture to the meat and protein-filled dish. It's common for breakfast but if you're willing to try it, be warned - you should probably walk in with an empty stomach.

St. Louis-Style Pizza

The unique thing about St. Louis-style pizza is its crust, which is usually the difference between most pizza styles. While everything else remains the same including pizza toppings and the layering of sauce and cheese, the crust on a Missouri pizza is usually far thinner than the average.

When the pizza is sliced, it's also cut into rectangles or squares rather than slices. Even though the pie is round, it's still cut this way which results in smaller pieces, but plenty of chances to enjoy that thin, crispy crust.

Butter Cake

Butter cake is another dish that originated in the city of St. Louis and it's now the most popular dessert in the state. The cake itself has German roots and is made with simple ingredients: butter, sugar, wheat flour, and eggs.

The resulting cake is gooey and sweet with a slightly crunchy crust. To finish, the cake squares are given a light dusting of powdered sugar and occasionally some fresh raspberries.

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