7 Quintessential Maine Foods
Maine sits on the far northeastern tip of New England, tucked up between New Brunswick and Quebec, Canada. It has a long Atlantic coastline, mountains, forests, and lake regions. The topography and climate afford Maine an incredible array of bounty for the table. Maine is also home to some unique and popular baked goods and beverages. Let’s take a look at 7 of the quintessential Maine foods.
Maine is probably most noted for its large, tasty cold water lobster. Maine lobster is shipped around the world. It has a sweet and salty flavor with a firm, yet delicate, flesh. A typical lobster dinner in Maine is served with corn on the cob and a side of melted butter. Sometimes you will also get clams and a whole potato. You will be given a bib so you can get down and dirty.
In addition to a wide variety of fresh seafood, Maine is known for its large sea scallops that are often harvested by hand. These are known as diver scallops. It is not uncommon to see where scallops served deep fried or baked in Maine, unlike the commonly seared scallop dishes.
3. Fish Chowder
Much of coastal New England is known for creamy clam chowder, usually made from meaty quahog clams. Maine has a similar staple with some form of pork fat, onions, potatoes, sometimes corn, all in a creamy milk based broth. However, you are likely to find nice big pieces of haddock or other cold water fish in this hardy stew in Maine.
Fiddleheads are the unopened, tightly coiled leaves of an edible fern that is native to the stream and lake banks in and near the forests of Maine. This is an early spring delicacy with a very short season. Fiddleheads are cultivated in the wild. They are often steamed or sautéed and served with a little butter and seasoning as a side dish.
Blueberries grow wild in Maine. The wild blueberry has been given the distinction of being Maine’s state fruit. They are available from May through August. There are summer festivals dedicated to the fruit with homage being paid to the iconic blueberry pie.
6. Maple Syrup
There are many sugarhouses across the Maine landscape. When the sap starts running from the maple trees in early spring, it is converted into maple syrup or maple sugar for candies. It is as pure as you can get in Maine.
7. Whoopie Pies
Maine lays claim to the invention of the popular Whoopie Pie, two round chocolate cakes with cream sandwiched between them. It is not unusual to attend a wedding in Maine where you will see a cake made of a tower of stacked Whoopie Pies. They are also easily found at diners and in grocery stores.
Maine is fortunate enough to have a lot of undeveloped landscape as well as a considerable Atlantic coastline. Fishing, farming, and wild harvesting, as well as tourism, are some of the most popular industries in the state. There is an abundance of resources that offer some uniquely Maine culinary experiences.