Okay, so I’ve never heard anyone actually say that. But I’ve always wished I had.
It would be wicked awesome.
I just have to find my way around the moose and out of the woods first.
Okay, okay. All stereotypes aside, Maine is a wonderful place to visit.
And we have some pretty delicious food.
So if you ever find yourself up in our neck of the woods and want to eat like a Mainer, try these Maine favorites.
10 THINGS YOU SHOULD EAT IF YOU’RE VISITING MAINE
1. Italian Sandwiches
So, everyone seems to have their own name for a sub. In Maine, we call them “Italians.” I’m not sure where the name came from, but I do know that I still think it’s weird to call that kind of sandwich a “sub” or a “hoagie” or any other name of the sort. Granted, we sincerely believe that these are different from the traditional sub, as the roll is very specific to the sandwich. It’s longer and thinner than most sub rolls. So head on over to Sam’s and grab one. It’s delicious and very customizable.
2. Taffy on Snow
This one goes by a bunch of names, but essentially what happens is, every once in a while, we Mainers decide to repurpose all of that snow we have, and we pour some carefully heated maple syrup on top! Then, using popsicle sticks (or wooden spoons), we scoop it up and eat it just like that! It’s delicious and simple–a quintessential blend of Canadian and Mainer culture.
Do I even need to explain this one? It’s absolutely necessary. We have the very best, and it’s probably a lot cheaper here than where you’re from. Red Lobster couldn’t survive here because Mainers thought it was too pricey and unnecessary. I recently had a lobster crèpe at The Sedgley Place in Greene with a bunch of scallops, a cream sauce, and a bacon-wrapped shrimp on top. It was HEAVEN. Also, most of our grocery stores have lobster tanks for those who like their lobster extra-fresh. Nom.
4. Whoopie Pies
We invented it. We also made the world’s largest. It is also our state treat. Simple and traditional. You can get them in a bunch of places and a bunch of flavors, but Sam’s are the best in my opinion–the original with a light chocolate cake and fluffy white frosting :)
5. Freshly Picked Fruit
Maine has some absolutely wonderful opportunities to pick your own fruit–apples, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all delicious (just make sure you’re in the right season). Blueberry pie is our state dessert! Blueberries were my candy as a child–absolutely heavenly. Pumpkins are also in large supply, so get picking!!
6. Fish Chowder/New England Clam Chowder
An absolute must if you’re in the area. Now, I must say that until I was a teenager I didn’t know that there was any other way to make clam chowder, and when I was informed, I was absolutely flabbergasted. Any New Englander will tell you that the only way to make clam chowder is the New England way. And if you don’t have beautifully warm cream and potatoes and big pieces of clam in every spoonful, it’s not good enough. Same goes for fish chowder–The Village Inn makes an incredible haddock chowder.
7. Red Hot Dogs
I also did not know that this wasn’t a common thing until fairly recently. But since coming to college, I have tried to explain what a “red hot dog” is on multiple occasions with quite a bit of difficulty. I don’t know what the red is, but it gives the hot dog a bit of a bite that is actually quite pleasing. I’m not endorsing frequent hot dog consumption, but definitely try it for the experience.
8. Moose Tracks Icecream
I couldn’t just leave the moose out of this list could I? Try Gifford’s–it’s a Maine classic.
9. Poutine & Crèpes, Canadian-Style
This one, my friends, is a little harder to come by. My suggestion is that you find a friend who’s from Maine and somehow get their grandmother to cook for you. My mom makes it too, and I pretty much know how at this point, but grandmothers always make them best. First I must tell you that you are probably saying Poutine incorrectly. Don’t worry–it’s an American thing and a perfectly common mistake. I’ve had to use the American pronunciation on many occasions because people literally have no idea what I’m talking about when I say it correctly. Ask me how to pronounce it if you so desire :) But in any language, fries, gravy, and cheese curds are DELICIOUS. Also, until I was older I had no idea that French (France-French, not Canadian-French) crèpes are very thin and even. My Memère (grandmother–I never used “Grandma”, ever) made crèpes in a cast iron pan with crisco and lots swirling and crispy brown edges. Then, to eat them we would pour maple syrup from our family’s cabane à sucre (sugar shack) in Canada, and roll it up and cut it into a bunch of cute little pieces. This is so homegrown that I couldn’t even find a picture on google. You’ll just have to imagine. You have not experienced the Canadian-American life until you have had poutine and Memère’s crèpes.
10. Pier Food
Pier fries are an absolute staple to any Maine summer trip. Get on over to Old Orchard Beach and enjoy some pier fries with salt and vinegar, a slice of pizza, and some fried dough with powdered sugar while observing the many Canadian men donning Speedos, and then take a dip in the freezing water. Yes, it’s still freezing in the summer. But it truly is beautiful and the sea breeze is the perfect compliment to some good old-fashioned pier fries.
Disclaimer: These are not my pictures. If you would like references, I can provide those. I do not claim any rights to the images above.