As much as I love good food, I've never been the most adventurous eater. It's easy to stick with variations of chicken, steak, pasta, pizza, etc., but since college is about trying new things and Maine is a hub for delicious seafood (so I've heard), I feel compelled to get outside my comfort zone as a picky eater. I hope that by doing so, I can encourage other people to also try new foods. Based on conversations with people who might know a bit more about Maine than I do, Below are the 3 Maine specialties I want to try over the next few months as a picky eater.

1. Lobster Roll

Hailey Ryan

People here usually gasp when I tell them I haven't tried lobster yet, so that's the first food on my list to try. A whole, boiled lobster is obviously a staple in Maine, but I've been told that a lobster roll is easier to start with. The texture looks a little too gooey for my liking, but I think having the warm, crispy bun along with the mayonnaise and celery will make up for it. If I like the lobster roll, I think it'll be easier to go try a "real" lobster. Then, I think I'll feel much more like a real Mainer. 

Fear: 5/10

Excitement: 7/10

2. Fried Clams

Hailey Ryan

Fried clams are another popular food in Maine, although I've heard fewer people rave about them. The good thing about fried clams is that I won't be able to see the actual gooey clam, which is a bit unappetizing to me. They actually look somewhat like chicken nuggets, which will make it easier for me to put them in my mouth. It will be interesting to feel the texture and to taste whatever distinct flavor clams have. Some people swear by the whole belly clams over the clam strips, but I'll have to make that call when I see them up close. In the spirit of trying new things, it would probably be best to try the whole bellies and to fully immerse myself in the experience. 

Fear: 7/10

Excitement: 6/10

3. New England Clam Chowder

herb, garlic, broth, bread, vegetable, parsley, cream, soup, spoonful of soup, butternut squash, butternut squash soup
Julia Gilman

You might think the chowder would be the easiest and least scary to try, but I think it could be my biggest challenge. I'm not a fan of chowder because of its thick, creamy consistency full of a bunch of different foods. Maybe that's what draws some people to chowder, but I definitely prefer soup as of right now(we'll see how I feel after trying chowder). New England Clam Chowder is usually made with potatoes, pork, onions, and clams, which seems like a lot to me. I'm looking forward to the oyster crackers, though. 

Fear: 8/10

Excitement: 5/10

Hailey Ryan

Starting with these three Maine specialties will help me branch out even more throughout the course of the year. I won't feel like a true Mainer if I haven't tried these–especially lobster! While I'm intimidated to try each of the foods, I also know it's important and exciting to try new things as a college student. Fingers crossed I actually enjoy them!