10 Things That Only People From Missouri UnderstandMissourians may seem like strait-laced Midwesterners, but they've still got a little Wild West in them...and they're all stubborn as mules.
1. Secretly Rooting For The Bad Boy (Or Girl)Missouri may be in the Bible Belt, but it's always had a weakness for its bad men (and women). This law-scoffing began during the Civil War with the bushwhackers, the most notorious of whom were Quantrill's Raiders. Clay County natives Jesse and Frank James got their start riding with Quantrill, as did the Younger Brothers. Several members of the Dalton Gang were Missouri-born as well, as were lady outlaws Belle Starr and Calamity Jane. While most Missourians these days are fairly law-abiding folks, they're still proud of their state's notorious natives and its wild and woolly past.
2. That Talking About The Weather Is Endlessly Fascinating
Source: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza via Wikimedia CommonsPerhaps it's because so much of the state is farm country, or maybe it's because Missouri's right on the edge of Tornado Alley and averages about half a dozen of these storms per year. It could be the recent, and very painful, memory of the catastrophic EF5 Joplin twister of 2011. Whatever the reason, if you're Facebook friends with anyone from Missouri, chances are your timeline's chock full of blow-by-blow weather reports year-round.
3. The Joy And Pain Of Loving Mizzou
Source: Nationaal Archief of the Netherlands via Wikimedia CommonsMizzou is what the University of Missouri calls itself. Their NCAA division I football and basketball teams do pretty well for themselves, and the fans are loyal win or lose, but the only national championship Mizzou holds was won by the 1934 ladies' shooting club. These truly badass lady gunslingers were obviously heirs to Belle Starr and Calamity Jane.
4. Missourians Are A Very Deep People
Source: Flickr user Wm ChamberlainIn Missouri there's a lot going on beneath the surface—to be specific, a whole lot of caves. Over 6,400 of them, in fact. One of its nicknames is “The Cave State.” Missourians have all visited them on a school field trip—and some of the “show caves” are well worth a visit, too. Bluff Dweller's Cave is beautiful, as is Meramec Caverns, and the ride-through tour at Fantastic Caverns is a hoot. The ground isn't the only thing deep about Missouri, however—it's also been home to quite a few deep thinkers. Famous Missourians include Mizzou alum Tennessee Williams, Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain), Maya Angelou, William S. Burroughs, Robert Heinlein, Langston Hughes, and T.S. Eliot.
5. There's No "." In Dr Pepper
Source: Flickr user MattThis iconic (if punctuation-challenged) soda was introduced to the nation at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and the soft drink concentrate manufacturing facility is still located in the Lou. While Missourians drink Dr Pepper by the gallon, the state couldn't name this beverage as its official drink, since it was already taken by Texas (where it was invented by a Waco druggist). Instead, Missouri's stuck with some obscure off-brand soda called Vess whose main claim to fame is the 12-foot tall neon-lit soda bottle located just north of the Edward Jones Dome in downtown St. Louis.
6. That Burnt Ends Are Not A Kitchen Catastrophe
Source: Smokin' Guns BBQ & Catering via FacebookIn fact, these tasty little nuggets are the best part of the brisket. They're a KC barbecue staple, usually served up as cubes smothered in sauce or naked with sauce on the side for dipping. Non-natives are often afraid to order something “burnt,” but Missourians know that the charred edges, or “bark”, just makes for an extra-smoky flavor. If you want to try Missouri's best-kept BBQ secret, you can't do better than the burnt ends at Jack Stack, Oklahoma Joe's or Smokin' Guns in KC.
7. That Provel Cheese Is An Actual Thing That Exists—And It’s Delicious
Source: Imo's Pizza via FacebookThis processed blend of swiss, provolone and cheddar is native to St. Louis, where it's used on burgers, pastas, and salads. However, it's best known as a key ingredient in St. Louis-style pizza. Yes, this is a thing, it's a tasty thin-crust square-cut concoction topped with spicy red sauce and gobs of gooey melted provel. You can get it all over the state, anywhere there's an Imo's Pizza, but it's not so well known outside the state's borders. That's just fine by Missourians—they don't care if Chicago and New York hog all the (undeserved) regional pizza-making glory, they'd just as soon keep the good stuff all to themselves.
8. That “Breaking Bad” Is Only Barely FictionOld-time outlaws have given way to modern meth cookers in Missouri today. It has long ranked as the top state for methamphetamine production, although recent stats from the Missouri Highway Patrol show that meth busts are decreasing and Indiana and Tennessee may be overtaking The Show Me State’s to claim this dubious distinction.
9. That You Can Take The Missourian Out Of Country But…
Source: Lomax Collection, Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons...well you know the rest. Yep, the state instrument is the fiddle, and the state dance is the square dance. And everyone, just everyone, who went to elementary school in the state knows how to allemande left, although they may not want to admit it. Awww, come on, just grab your partner and do-si-do it!
10. Why It’s Really Called The Show Me State
Source: Showghere Gaited Missouri Mules via FacebookMissourians are a no nonsense group of people. Salt of the earth and set in their ways. 19th century congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver once described Missouri as a place that “raises corn and cotton and cockleburs” and where “frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies.” In other words, they are down to earth folks who if you intend to convince them of anything be prepared for them to make one demand, “show me.”