PHOTOS: Dad And Eight-Year-Old Son Make Food Puns Shaped Like States

07/31/2014 at 05:27 PM ET Foodnited States Art Series

Chris Durso’s latest project, The Foodnited States of America, has become a social-media sensation and he has an eight-year-old to thank.

Durso, who runs the site, told PEOPLE that the idea for these whimsical, pun-driven photos came about during a chat with his son, Cameron. “He’s always trying to come up with ideas for me. One day he asked, ‘Dad, what if you did states shaped like food?’ This has been done quite a bit already, so it wasn’t until he added, ‘…but what if they had funny names like “New Pork?’ Then I knew we were onto something,” he says.

The graphic artist and culinary school grad posted his series on Instagram under the hashtag #foodnitedstates. Although he says he has most states already, ahem, mapped out, he takes suggestions from fans.

We were curious about his creative process: How exactly do these hysterical pictures come to life? Like any proper wordsmith, Durso says he tests state names by saying them aloud. Some, like “Kaleifornia” or “Swissconsin,” seem to be tailor made for the place they represent. “Most just sort of flow. You say a state, and an appropriate pun appears fairly quickly. If the states and food are already synonymous with each other it’s a bonus,” he says.

The artist says that above all, it’s most important that his meticulously crafted images have a compelling visual element. “I have to take into account what’s possible as far as execution, as all the states in the project are handmade and styled. Also what will work aesthetically, which to me is most important,” he says.

We’re going to have a hard time erasing some of these puns from our heads on our next road trip (we’re looking at you, New Jerky).

—Lexi Dwyer

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FILED UNDER: Food , Food News , Food on Film , Kids

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Showing 7 comments

Lacey on

I bet Oregon going to be “Orangon”! Ahahaha!

Shannon on

That is super cute

poii on

So are we dismissing the validity of the Jesus toast finally then?

Momma on

How about AlaHAMa, ARICEzona, COLLardado,

Anonymous on

Funny and creative! Out of the mouths of babes!!

Anonymous on

Out of the mouths of babes! Funny and creative!

lilibetp on


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