In addition to living in the most beautiful state in the country, we also happen to have the best traditions in food and drink! From succulent seafood to an official state treat, residents and visitors will certainly never go hungry. If you want to fit in with the locals, you better make sure you can eat like ’em! Here are the 11 essentially Maine foods and drinks that you’ll find us enjoying most often.
We know what you’re thinking. There’s no food more synonymous with Maine than lobster. We even have a whole license plate dedicated to the crustacean. But, for most locals, it’s not a food we find on our plates all that often. When it comes to our favorite seafood to eat on a regular basis, haddock is king. Fried, baked, broiled, in chowder - it's good no matter what.
Ida-who? Maine is one of the top 5 potato-growing states in the country, and it's our biggest cash crop. There's a reason we're obsessed with delicious Aroostook spuds - they taste great baked, mashed, fried, stuffed, boiled, scalloped, au gratin... we could go on and on.
3. Whoopie Pies
It doesn't get better than Maine's official state treat. Traditionally consisting of two chocolate cake rounds surrounding a white cream filling, you can find these fresh-baked beauties at nearly every general store in the state. Variations on the classic are also common, with dozens of cake and filling flavor combinations.
4. Craft Beer
It all started with Allagash in Portland, but the recent craft brewery explosion has put Maine on the map for beer aficionados all around the country. According the financial services website SmartAsset, Portland is the top city for beer drinkers in America. But amazing breweries can be found all over the state!
5. Maple Syrup
What would a stack of pancakes (or ployes) be without a drizzle of pure Maine maple syrup? Nothing special, that's what. Fortunately for us, we live in one of the top 5 maple syrup producing states in the country. And it doesn't stop with syrup - our maple is the main ingredient in locally crafted candy, fudge, BBQ sauce and so much more.
Don't you dare call it chowder! Our seafood chowd-ah is rich, creamy, flavorful and thick with ingredients - nothing like the soupy stuff some other states call chowder. Our personal favorite is packed with haddock - a pretty traditional choice - but shellfish chowders are just as tasty.
Maine grows more blueberries than anyone else in the country, and when they're in season, we can't get enough of this tart, juicy fruit. During July and August, you can find wild blueberries aplenty at Maine's amazing farmer's markets, but no matter where you live, chances are you have a secret spot for picking your own.
8. Allen's Coffee Brandy
Truth be told, we don't know too many people who actually like this stuff, but sales numbers for the "champagne of Maine" don't lie. On a list of Maine's bestselling liquors, the big bottle of Allen's comes in first. Third, fourth and ninth on the list? Smaller bottles of Allen's.
Picking fiddleheads, or fiddleheadin', is a spring tradition here in Maine. The edible leaves of the ostrich fern have been a New England delicacy for centuries, and can be eaten hot or cold, pickled, in soups, salads or stews. But be careful: improperly prepared fiddleheads can make you sick.
10. Trail Mix
No hiker's pack is complete without an energy-rich trail mix. And since Maine has one of the best, most extensive trail systems in America, we rely on it to keep our energy up as we explore the outdoors.
There's no drink more polarizing than Moxie. Invented by a Mainer, but first produced in Lowell, Massachusetts, it was originally marketed as a medicine for the nerves. And it's that strong medicinal taste (a product of Moxie's main ingredient, the gentian root) that have us firmly split between "yuck" and "yum." No matter what your opinion, Moxie is here to stay - it was honored in 2005 as Maine's official state beverage.