What state has all four seasons, national parks, bay areas, quirky seaside towns, and drool-worthy food? It’s Maine, obvi. The New England state is only the 42nd most populous state in the country, but that’s part of its charm. It’s serene and quiet, but with lots to offer.
One of the highlights of Maine is of course the food, with some of our favorite dishes, brands, and concoctions originating here. Here’s what to thank Maine for, because they’re the OG of some bangin’ cuisine.
1. Lobster Rolls
Every state has its staple; and for Maine, it’s lobsters. Lobsters are famous here because of Maine’s cold waters, in which the crustacean thrives, making the taste better than anywhere else in the world.
They are also home to the first lobster roll, so next time you find yourself at Red Lobster, you can silently thank Maine for the mouth-watering combo of fresh lobster, mayonnaise, and paprika. If you’re up to make your own, make sure it’s done just right: i.e. buttered rolls, lemon on top, and the best summer lobster around.
2. Blueberry Jam
This popular berry is full of antioxidants, in fact, more than any other regular fruit or vegetable. Of course, we all love them because they taste good too. Maine grows premium berries, with blueberries being the state’s official fruit.
Specifically, the brand Stonewall Kitchen is stationed in York, Maine, making some of the best jam around. Next time you’re in the grocery store browsing which jam to put in the cart, choose Stonewall. The blueberry jam (or any flavor) has an authentic taste that’s great for breakfast, or any time of day really.
3. Maple Syrup
If you walk into any souvenir shop in Maine, and I mean any, you’ll find a good amount of products with blueberries or maple syrup in them. Maple syrup in Maine may not be up to Canada’s level, but it’s pretty stellar.
Originating within Native American tribes in the Northeast, maple syrup has grown to be an American favorite. Specifically, the industry brings $27 million to Maine’s economy alone. The process is in-depth because it’s an all natural product, but that’s what makes it the best in the U S of A.
You can thank Maine for the soda’s of the world, because the first carbonated one originated here. Otherwise known as Moxie, this brand of soda is old school. It tastes like a crossover between cola and root beer, so in other words, it’s genius.
5. Holy Donuts
Portland is the largest city in the state with a small-town vibe. You can stroll around, eat and drink to your heart’s desire, or chill out while enjoying their famous Holy Donuts. Made with all-natural ingredients (including potatoes, who knew?) and some killer flavors, this place is an inspiration to any aspiring maker of donuts.
6. Craft Beer
Distilleries are scattered all across the state, making Maine a pretty big producer for some great brews. Some of their most famous include Allagash Brewery, with six different brews year-round and Belfast Bay Brewing, which is closer to Canada so it creates a wide selection of red ales. Cheers, Maine.
7. Whoopie Pies
A New England staple, whoopie pies are the official state treat of Maine, but they take it to the next level adding pumpkin, maple, and red velvet flavors to the treat. If you’re in need of a dessert for your next soirée, get creative the Maine way and bake all the whoopie pies.
8. “Down East” Chowder
You’ve heard of Manhattan Clam Chowder (with tomatoes) and New England Clam Chowder (with cream), so what, you ask, is “Down East” Chowder? It’s when you mix clams, bacon bits, potatoes, an onion, and a bunch of other seasonings in a pot to make true Maine “Down East” chowdah.
9. Acadia National Park
This national park is one of America’s finest. With hikes for anyone of all levels and abilities, the town of Bar Harbor nearby for some grub and shopping, and lookouts that make your photog skills National Geographic worthy, Acadia is a delight to anyone who visits. Maine, thanks for views that take our breath away.
10. Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium
Another Bar Harbor favorite is this hoppin’ dessert spot. With fudge, candies, buttercrunch, and of course, ice cream, leaving room for dessert has never been so important. If you’re still in the seafood mood, note in the picture above that they serve lobster ice cream. Who knows, it could be your new fave flavor.
Where would we be without lobster rolls and whoopie pies? Next time you take a bite out of one of these ten staples, send a thanks to the New England state of Maine.