The Taste of Boston 

Every year in September, Boston, like most other cities, sponsors an opportunity for the restaurants to showcase their product.  In 1998 they held it at Government Center.  We went around to the booth's sampling crabcakes, chowders, and bi until we were stuffed. 


10 Great New England Food Experiences

1. Lobster

The definitive king of Maine seafood, lobster is actually found in plentiful amounts along the entire New England coastline. Craved for its mild, almost creamy flavor, lobster lends itself to a variety of recipes and styles: Lobster bisque, hot lobster rolls (popular in the summer), and even as the base for a sauce with other entrees. But the best way to eat lobster is boiled and served right out of the shell, along with some lemon and drawn, melted butter. Cracking a boiled lobster takes some effort, but the results are more than worth it.

2. Boston Baked Beans

This American favorite gave Boston its nickname, "Beantown." The beans are slowly baked in a rich smoky sauce (usually including, but not limited to, tomato sauce, bacon, mustard and brown sugar). Recipes vary from restaurant to restaurant, with each "authentic" one a closely guarded secret. One thing is for sure: Both the similarities and the differences will surprise and delight you.

3. Vermont Cheddar

Cheddar is the most popular cheese in the English speaking world, and it always seems to taste
better where it is created. In fact, you can find many varieties of cheddar throughout Vermont: White or yellow, mild or sharp, even blended with other ingredients. For a real New England treat, find a restaurant that serves cheddar cheese soup. The base stock is often vegetable or chicken broth, and sometimes even beer. It’s a must-have for cheese fans.

4. Chourico and Linguica

Portuguese immigrants settled along the coastline from Eastern Connecticut to Eastern
Massachusetts over a century ago, and have been contributing to New England’s culture ever since. Chourico (pronounced "cho-rees") and Linguica (pronounced "lin-gwee-sah") are two spicy pork sausages introduced by that area’s Portuguese-American community. Whether served in a paella or just grilled and served sliced on a plate, their very unique flavors are something to savor and enjoy.

5. Johnny Cakes

Unique to Rhode Island, this corn meal pancake is most often found on breakfast plates, and eaten just like a wheat flour or buttermilk pancake. Some restaurants do offer johnny cakes with fruit (most often blueberries or strawberries). Order yours with a glass of coffee milk (the unofficial Rhode Island state drink): That’s a glass of milk with coffee syrup.

6. Maple Syrup

Can anyone think of New England without the taste of real maple syrup on their lips? Far sweeter, stronger and better than the imitations found in supermarkets, New Hampshire and Vermont boast dozens of farms that tap the sap from sugar maples and turn it into that mellow syrup. Many offer tours and samples. Over the years, maple syrup has become more than just that "stuff" on top of hot cakes and waffles. New England restaurants offering entrees featuring maple syrup sauces abound. Of course, maple candy continues to be the most popular New England souvenir year after year.

7. Clam Chowder

The debate rages over which is better: Manhattan clam chowder (that’s the red tomato broth) or New England clam chowder (that’s the creamy kind). Well, in New England’s six states you’ll be hard pressed to find Manhattan chowder at all, and restaurants take great pride in their own recipes. A good cup will feature a thick, creamy soup with plenty of tasty clams and vegetables in every spoonful. For a different chowder, try Rhode Island’s: The same delicious blend of clams and vegetables served in a clear clam broth.

8. Bread Pudding and Whiskey Sauce

Truly a taste of history, New England colonists were eating bread pudding as early as the 17th
century. How can a dessert seemingly so bland taste so good? It’s all in how it’s baked (recipes
vary) and the whisky sauce, a remarkable concoction that marries the drink’s strong taste with a
sweetness that will instantly make you a bread pudding fan.

9. Grinders

It seems that almost every region of the country has its own "signature" sandwich, and New
England’s is the grinder. Grinders can feature anything from tuna salad to Italian cold cuts, and are served on submarine rolls with all sorts of garnishes (mustard, lettuce, tomato, hot peppers, etc). The whole sandwich is usually toasted before it’s served. One that is particularly New England: A fried clam grinder with lemon and tartar sauce.

10. Dining in Boston’s North End

You can find Italian restaurants almost anywhere, but few can match those in Boston’s North End. As in many other great American cities, this is Boston’s Italian community. Tourists flock there to eat and shop, and with good reason: Nowhere is America’s love affair with Italian cuisine more apparent. If a trip to Boston is part of your vacation, a dinner in a North End restaurant is as important as walking the Freedom Trail (although far more caloric)!




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