When I lived in New Mexico, I thought it was humorous that New Mexico had "official state neckwear"--the bolo tie. (Read my 2007 blog post on this subject here.)
But in today's Providence Journal I read that Rhode Island also has a number of unusual official state items including the official state shell (quahaug) and the official state drink (coffee milk).
Rhode Island supplies a large percentage of the US commercial quahaug catch--about 3.5 million pounds per year. So it's not surprising that the RI Legislature named the quahaug the official state shell in 1987.
Coffee milk was named the official state drink in 1993, shortly after Autocrat acquired Eclipse, although the proposal in the Legislature did get some spirited opposition from the Representative from Middletown, who also happened to own a Del's Lemonade franchise (another popular Rhode Island beverage!).
And if you combine coffee milk and ice cream, you get a coffee cabinet--another term used exclusively in Rhode Island.
Illustrations and References
The photos of the coffee milk in a glass and the Eclipse syrup bottle were found on the What's Cooking in America website.
The quahaug photo comes from the Proper Course blog; the post is entitled "Quahaug".
The photo of the stuffed clams (or "stuffies") appeared in the Cutting Edge of Ordinary blog, in a post entitled "Stuffies".
Factual information for this post comes from a post entitled "Coffee Milk" on the quahog.org website, and from the Rhode Island Sea Grant Fact Sheet on the quahaug.