TOPS IN ARKANSAS: Four-layer delight leads Google searches in Arkansas for distinctive Thanksgiving dishes. New York Times

The Arkansas Times is on top of Thanksgiving feast week with recipes from top local chefs.

Also in the eats category is an effort by the New York Times’ Upshot to use Google to gather a more “democratic” version of favorite Thanksgiving dishes in the 50 states. This follows a hotly controversial Times food section article on dishes from 50 states meant to “evoke each of the 50 states.” It was widely panned and caused some in-house sniping. Some of the recipe choices made no sense — notably something called “grape salad” from Minnesota that most Minnesotans had never heard of. Arkansas, at least, seemed appropriate — roast heritage turkey (we are a big poultry state) with giblet gravy.


Google analyzed searches in the 50 states to come up with the most distinct dishes. Not the favorite dish. Turkey would win just about everywhere, the Times says. (I’m not sure I agree with that. I’d say pie.)

What’s the top dish in Arkansas? Drum roll ……


Four-layer delight.

You know. The star of church potlucks in all 75 counties. 


“Four layer delight” is a dessert casserole consisting of a shortbread crust, topped with a Cool Whip-cream cheese mixture, then topped with chocolate pudding and finally topped with more Cool Whip. For balance.

The top items on the Arkansas search list, in order, after the winner:

“green bean bundles

“crockpot dressing”

“lemon icebox pie”


“hasbrown casserole”

“yeast rolls”

“giblet gravy”

“coconut cream pie”

“chocolate pie”

“cornbread dressing”

What about you? Your favorite. If it’s sweet potato casserole, it better include marshmallows.