New England Cuisine probably ranks highest among my favorite types of food. Its wide variety of delicious seafood has always been my first choice of entrees.
But New England food is more about seafood! Read on and we’ll show you some of our favorite eats from this special part of the U.S.
What is it?
Five out of the six states which makeup this area have the Atlantic Ocean for their Eastern borders, making it a treasure trove for seafood lovers.
These states are the authority on clam bakes and Maine ships its lobster throughout the rest of the country. Many of the techniques and ingredients used to make New England cuisine are holdovers from Native American culture.
New England boiled dinner
This area is famous for New England Boiled Dinner. Usually composed of Corned Beef, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, turnip, parsnips, and onions.
Often served with brown bread and Indian pudding. This delicious dinner is also known as Corned Beef & Cabbage, the dinner we all love to eat on St. Patrick’s Day.
New England Cuisine naturally includes an abundance of shellfish such as clams, oysters, and scallops which are available in assorted varieties. Have you ever had the chance to try fried belly clams?
You have not LIVED until you have bit into the intensely rich, sweet, sea flavored morsel, of a crispy, breaded belly clam. Please don’t confuse these yummy delights with breaded, fried clam strips.
The latter is made with large, shredded ocean clams that often have no choice then to have the texture, taste, and tensile strength of a rubber band. Often with a little sand added for good measure.
Speaking of clams, let us not forget about clam chowder. Be it creamy, clear or tomato-based, it’s all delicious but my favorite is the creamy New England clam chowder.
Substitutions and variations
Gluten free Clam Chowder
This creamy New England fish chowder does not use a roux, making it gluten-free. If you are lactose-intolerant, it is lactose-free as well!
Vegan Clam Chowder
This vegan version of clam chowder is a fast and easy meatless meal the family will love that’s still hearty and satisfying!
When I think of New England and New England Cuisine, I think of lobster traps and little seafood shacks lining the shore. Maine produces 90% of the US markets lobster supply and if you ever get the chance be sure to enjoy the freshly caught abundance of marine crustacean.
They are often ½ the price that you might have to pay in other parts of the country and often come with a cob of corn and a portion cup of melted butter. Once, while driving thru New London , Connecticut, I stopped at a McDonald’s (I know… but I was thirsty and had to catch the ferry). To my surprise and delight, lobster rolls were offered on the menu!
They’ve got all the ingredients and flavors that go in a classic lobster roll, stuffed inside a grilled avocado. They’re really easy to make, surprisingly budget-friendly, and super flavorful!
New England cod recipes
Cape Cod is named after the dense white-fleshed, delicately flavored fish that abundantly live in it’s surrounding waters. Very close to cod in appearance and flavor is haddock and the 2 can be used pretty much interchangeably.
Scrod is the name given to a small cod or haddock. These fish are commonly found prepared as fish in chips, either battered or breaded then deep-fried. Cod is also often dried and salted, to later be reconstituted and made into fish cakes or other dishes.
A simple Ritz cracker stuffing makes this oven baked cod fish not only quick to make but delicious.
How to make good seafood
These varieties of fish are always happy to jump into a pot of seafood chowder or stew, too. Delicious, when baked with a variety of herbs, spices, wine, lemon, and butter, the diversity is almost endless.
The trick to preparing really good seafood is to not overcook it. Once the translucent flesh appears opaque, it’s done. A very hot oven temperature provides the perfect environment to achieve this goal, along with a short cooking time.
Other regional recipes
Moving on from my almost pathological love of seafood, New England cuisine also includes other foods. These include cranberries, (Massachusetts #2 provider in the US), apples, maple syrup (Vermont #1 provider in the US), cheese, and other dairy products.
- Maple Syrup
Brown bread, known outside New England as Boston brown bread, was traditionally served with Boston baked beans. It’s also pretty good with cream cheese and jam for breakfast or afternoon tea.
New England desserts
Vermont is home to Ben and Jerry’s. I’ve never had the chance to visit B&J’s home, but I’ve seen pictures that friends have taken. Ginormous sundaes and other ice cream creations are offered there so you might want to go on an empty stomach. Just ‘saying.
The snickerdoodle is the state cookie of Connecticut. This easy snickerdoodle recipe is our go-to for the cinnamon-sugar coated, soft and chewy cookie recipe that is a perennial classic!
Classic New England Dessert
Boston Cream Cake
You’re not going to want to miss our easy hack for making this classic Bean Town dessert!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this virtual culinary journey featuring the best of New England cuisine. Do you have a favorite food from this area? We would love to hear what it is. As always, we thank you for reading Platter Talk, it means the world to us. – Chef Kat
Similar recipes using a pressure cooker or air fryer
How to use your pressure cooker to make a Boiled Dinner
Made with Hearts of Palm and a light seasoned breading, this squid-free calamari recipe will blow your mind and become your go-to appetizer for impressing anyone!
Boston is called “bean town” because of it’s famous baked beans. Traditionally, they were started on Saturday in a cast iron pot hung above a fire. The pot contained beans, salt pork, molasses, or maple syrup and served on Sunday, often served with its famous brown bread or Johnnycake.
Johnnycake was thought to originate in the NE, a culinary gift of the American Indians who generously introduced the recipe to the newcomers from England. Originally called Journey Cakes, as it traveled well and provided needed nutrition, especially when combined with maple syrup butter.
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
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