Everybody knows about New England clam chowder, but how food savvy are you when it comes to the rest of New England cuisine? The East Coast states are quintessentially American, no doubt, and so is their food. Here’s what you can’t miss when you take a foodie road trip in New England! Be sure to try it all, and leave room for dessert.
Maine is famous for one thing: lobster. If you know absolutely nothing else about Maine, surely you’ve heard of their penchant for lobster. The best way to eat it, according to the locals, is in a Maine-style lobster roll. You can get these at the fanciest of fancy restaurants, but they’re just as good at roadside food trucks. Besides the lobster, Maine is actually an epicenter of East Coast wine and beer. In Portland, you’ll find plenty of local breweries brimming with all types of beer for sampling. Of course, you can’t have the beer and wine without the cheese, another food that Maine makes with excellence!
New Hampshire is close enough to Canada to steal a little bit of its thunder. For example, you can get maple syrup in New Hampshire that is just as good as syrup in Canada! Fuller’s Sugarhouse is a widely-known producer of maple syrup and other maple products. You can’t forget to get some good maple candy here while you’re in the area. The forests of New Hampshire are full of maple trees, but they are also full of deer. Some of the best venison in the United States comes out of New Hampshire, although most of it comes out of deer farms. Forget the cows — venison is leaner and tastier than beef!
Vermont is close enough to New Hampshire that they share most of their signature food. Still, Vermonters will swear by Vermont apple pie, declaring it the most American and the most delicious you’ll ever find. It doesn’t hurt that most Vermont apple pies are made with fruit right off the tree. You also can’t miss out on cheddar ale soup, a winter staple for frigid days. Finally, if you visit in winter, find yourself some sugar-on-snow, a candy-like treat made on the snow that has its roots far back into America’s earliest days. You can make this yourself, actually. Boil maple syrup, pour it on the snow, and let it harden. Then, enjoy the sugary goodness while simultaneously trying not to pull all your teeth out of your head with its stickiness.
Seafood, seafood, and more seafood. This characterizes most of the New England coast, but especially Massachusetts. Clams and lobster are especially popular for a couple’s date night. Besides Neptune’s offerings, the capital city, Boston, is known for its particular variety of beans. You’ve surely eaten Boston Baked Beans, but did you know that the treat is named for a real bean dish? Boston baked beans are sweet and savory since they’re made with both molasses and pork.
Poor Rhode Island doesn’t get a whole lot of attention. Maybe it should, though, because its food is definitely worth talking about. One weird Rhode Island meal is called “hot wieners.” This is a thin hotdog made of veal and pork, placed in a bun and topped with a concoction of spices and veggies. Rhode Islanders also love to eat the New England version of Johnny Cakes, which are made with corn meal and deep fried, as well as fried clams and pretty much everything else that has to do with seafood.
Connecticut loves its clam chowder, lobster rolls, and apple pie as much as the next state. You can certainly get some of the best of all of that in Connecticut. But the food that this state does better than all the rest is apple cider doughnuts. That’s right, you can get a real doughnut that’s flavored like apple cider. This just might beat the maple-flavored doughnuts in the northern states. Connecticut also makes steamed cheeseburgers, which are totally different than the kind you grill in your backyard. They also just might be a little bit more yummy and cheesy.
If you love seafood, cheese, and maple syrup (not necessarily together), add a road trip through the New England states to your next travel itinerary. The New England cuisine is simple, homey, and delicious!