New England Cuisine - State Dishes and Staples

State Dishes and Staples

Connecticut is known for its apizza (particularly the white clam pie), shad and shadbakes, grinders (including the state-based Subway chain), and New Haven's claim as the birthplace of the hamburger sandwich at Louis' Lunch in 1900. Italian-inspired cuisine is dominant in the New Haven area, while southeastern Connecticut relies heavily on the fishing industry. Irish American influences are common in the interior portions of the state, including the Hartford area. Hasty pudding is sometimes found in rural communities, particularly around Thanksgiving.

Maine is known for its lobster. Relatively inexpensive lobster rolls (lobster meat mixed with mayonnaise and other ingredients, served in a grilled hot dog roll) are often available in the summer, particularly on the coast. Northern Maine produces potato crops, second only to Idaho in the United States. Moxie, America's first mass-produced soft drink and the official state soft drink, is known for its strong aftertaste and is found throughout New England. Although originally from New Jersey, wax-wrapped salt water taffy is a popular item sold in tourist areas. Wild blueberries are a common ingredient or garnish, and blueberry pie (when made with wild Maine blueberries) is the official state dessert. Red snappers — natural casing frankfurters colored bright red — are considered the most popular type of hot dog in Maine. The whoopie pie is the official state treat. Finally, the Italian sandwich is popular in Portland and southern Maine—Portland restaurant Amato's claims to have invented the Italian sandwich (specifically, a submarine sandwich made with ham, cheese, tomato, raw peppers, pickles and cheese, served with or without oil, salt and pepper) in 1902. The city of Portland, Maine, known for its numerous nationally renowned restaurants, was ranked as Bon Appétit magazine's "America's Foodiest Small Town" in 2009.

Coastal Massachusetts is known for its clams, haddock, and cranberries, and previously cod. Boston is known for, among other things, baked beans (hence the nickname "Beantown"), bulkie rolls, and various pastries. Hot roast beef sandwiches served with a sweet barbecue sauce and usually on an onion roll is popular in Boston's surrounding area. The North Shore area is locally known for its roast beef establishments, which slice tender roast beef extremely thin. Apples are grown commercially throughout the Commonwealth. Because of the landlocked, hilly terrain common plant foods in Massachusetts are similar to those of interior northern New England- including potatoes, maple syrup, and wild blueberries. Dairy production is also prominent in this central and western area. Cuisine in western Massachusetts had similar immigrant influences as the coastal regions, though historically strong Eastern European populations instilled kielbasa and pierogi as common dishes.

Southern New Hampshire cuisine is similar to that of the Boston area, featuring fish, shellfish and local apples. As with Maine and Vermont, French-Canadian dishes are popular, including tourtière, which is traditionally served on Christmas Eve, and poutine. Corn chowder, which is similar to clam chowder but with corn and bacon replacing the clams, is also common. Portsmouth is known for its orange cake, often containing cranberries.

Rhode Island and bordering Bristol County, Massachusetts are known for Rhode Island clam chowder (clear chowder), quahog (hard clams), johnny cakes, coffee milk, celery salt, milkshakes known as "cabinets" (called "frappes" elsewhere in New England), grinders, pizza strips, clam cakes, the chow mein sandwich, and Del's Frozen Lemonade. Another food item popular in Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts is called a "hot wiener" or "New York System wiener," although it is unknown in New York (including Coney Island). This food consists of a wiener (similar to a hot dog but skinnier and more orange in color) on a steamed roll with meat sauce and, often, mustard and raw onions ("all the way") Also celery salt. Portuguese influences are becoming increasingly popular in the region, with Italian cooking already long established. The coastal communities and islands, including Block Island, offer more colonial New England fare than the more recent immigrant-influenced varieties found around the Providence area.

Vermont produces Cheddar cheese and other dairy products. It is known in and outside of New England for its maple syrup. Maple syrup is used as an ingredient in some Vermont dishes, including baked beans. Rhubarb pie is a common dessert and has been combined with strawberries in late spring.

Read more about this topic:  New England Cuisine

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