11 Most Distinctly East Coast Foods

 East Coast residents love to brag about the foods local to their areas. Here are the East Coast foods that are most famous and unique.

 Every region in the United States has its own, individual culture, and the east coast is certainly no exception. Where the east coast really differs from the rest of the country is in its cuisine. Simply put, east coast food is distinct. 

Are you taking a trip to the east coast sometime soon? Looking to learn about a few of the region's foods? Then you're in the right place.

Without further ado, these are 11 of the most distinctly east coast foods for you to try.  

1. Crab Cakes

The state of Maryland is known for a few different things. It's home to the US Naval Academy, it's the birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner, but most of all: it has the best crab cakes in the world. 

Made with crab from the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland crab cakes are composed of crab meat, bread crumbs, mustard, mayonnaise, and a variety of other ingredients. Baked, fried, grilled, sauteed, or broiled into a crispy crust, they are arguably the best seafood dishes this planet has to offer. 

If you're ever in the mid-Atlantic region, you have to try some Maryland crab cakes made with lump crab meat. Once you do, your appreciation for seafood is bound to skyrocket.  

2. Lobster Rolls 

Lobster rolls are famous all over New England. However, when most people think of them, they think of the state of Maine, in particular. This is due largely to the quality of lobster that Mainers are able to bring ashore. 

Wondering what a lobster roll consists of? Think of a hot dog, but with a bun stuffed with lobster meat as opposed to pork or beef. Other ingredients used within lobster rolls run the gamut from mayonnaise to lemon juice to celery and more. 

If you're a seafood lover, lobster rolls are sure to hit the spot. They make a great start to any seafood dinner. 

3. Cheesesteak

When people think of Philadelphia, they think of three things: crazy sports fans, the Liberty Bell, and, of course, cheesesteak. The cheesesteak is one of the east coast's most iconic foods, helping to give the City of Brotherly Love much of its respectability. 

But what exactly is a cheesesteak? Simply put, it's a long bun filled with sliced ribeye and a variety of cheeses.

The cheeses that are used most commonly in a cheesesteak include American cheese, provolone, and Cheez Whiz. However, there's no rule against adding others. 

Should you ever make your way into eastern Pennsylvania, you have to give the cheesesteak a try. No other state does it better. 

4. Scrapple

While cheesesteak is easily Philadelphia's most famous food, it's not its only iconic dish. There's another Philadelphian food which has maintained its popularity through the years. That food is scrapple.

Originating in Germany, scrapple made its way to Philadelphia in the 17th or 18th century. Consisting of pig parts, buckwheat, cornmeal, sage, and pepper, it possesses the aesthetic of a dense block. However, when fried and served with syrup, it's actually fairly tasty. 

While it might not look appetizing at first glance, you have to give it a try. You could end up hating it. However, there's an even greater chance that you'll end up liking it. 

5. Clam Chowder

The city of Boston is known for a lot of things -- Fenway Park, Harvard, the birthplace of the American Revolution. However, perhaps nothing is more synonymous with the city than clam chowder. Boston clam chowder is world-famous, arguably holding the title as the greatest chowder the planet has to offer.
 
But the question you might have is: what is clam chowder? Clam chowder is a stew consisting of milk, broth, and, of course, clams. Other ingredients you might find in a clam chowder include potatoes, onions, and celery, to name just a few. 

If you're a fan of seafood, you have to try it. Once you start, you won't be able to stop. 

6. Boston Creme Pie

The city of Boston has been around since 1630. So, it should come as no surprise that it's devised its fair share of iconic foods. While clam chowder probably takes the crown as Boston's most iconic food, coming in a close second is the Boston creme pie. 

Now, when you hear the word "pie", you probably picture, well, a pie. But in actuality, the Boston creme pie isn't a pie at all. In reality, it's a cake, a butter cake, to be exact. 

Filled with vanilla custard and glazed with chocolate, it's one of the most delicious deserts the east coast has to offer. Other ingredients you might find on a Boston creme pie include berries and coffee custard, to name just two. 

7. Bagels

Bagels originated in Poland. However, here in the United States, they might as well have seen their conception in New York City. After all, the Jewish bakers in the lower east side of Manhattan are the ones who made bagels an American staple. 

These days, east coast bagels are served all over the country. In some cases, they're eaten on their own, serving as filling breakfast snacks. In other cases, they serve as a base, accommodating everything from lox to cheese to tomatoes to salmon and more. 

While you don't need to go far to find a good bagel, you can't reach the holy grail unless you make your way up to the northeast. Once you do, you'll be in bagel heaven. 

8. New York Style Pizza

Every city seems to have its own type of pizza. Chicago has deep-dish pizza. Detroit has pan pizza. But when it comes to thin pizza, no city does it better than New York. 

New York pizza is characterized by a thin, crispy crust and a thin, floppy base. Typically cut into wide pieces, it's often folded over before eaten. 
If you're ever in the Big Apple and looking for a cheap snack, you've got to try a slice. In some parts of the city, you can find slices for as little as a dollar apiece. 

9. Cheesecake

Cheesecake was invented in ancient Greece. It was served to athletes during the 776 Olympic Games. However, on the American east coast, we ignore all of that; As far as we're concerned, cheesecake is a New York City food. 

New York-style cheesecake has its own unique identity, characterized by a dense, thick, and creamy center. Often topped with strawberries, blueberries, and a range of other fruits, it's as perfect of a dessert as you're ever going to find. 

While you can buy New York-style cheesecake all over the United States, the best of the best can only be found in NYC proper. So, if you're ever in town, be sure to make a stop to one of its local bakeries. 

10. Saltwater Taffy

Perhaps the most endearing part of New Jersey culture comes from its boardwalk. And perhaps no better food comes from that boardwalk than saltwater taffy. A staple in coastal Jersey since the late 1800s, salt water taffy is still enjoyed by millions to this day. 

The question you might have is: what is saltwater taffy? In short, it's a concoction of cornstarch, sugar, corn syrup, butter, glycerine, water, and artificial sweeteners. While it might not be all that good for you, there's no denying its delicious taste. 

If you're on the shore, you have to give saltwater taffy a try. Before you know it, you'll be buying a bag to take home for a later date. 

11. Cider Doughnuts 

There are all types of doughnuts, from bismarcks to old-fashioneds to jelly-filled and more. However, when autumn comes rolling around, there's one doughnut that rules them all: the cider doughnut.

Exceedingly popular in the state of New Hampshire, the cider doughnut generally contains apple cider, nutmeg, and cinnamon. After being fried, its dough is topped with additional cinnamon and then served with a big glass of apple cider. 

Before you head out to gaze upon the New England leaves, make sure to grab a cider doughnut from a local bakery. There's no better way to start an autumn day. 

East Coast Foods are Integral to the Fabric of America

Simply put, if we lost the east coast foods reviewed above, we would lose a little (or big) piece of America. These foods are integral to the country's fabric, helping to shape its unique culture and identity. So, if you're ever by the Atlantic, you should make sure to give them a try.
 
Interested in learning about more unique foods? Amolife.com is the place to be. We cover cultures from all over the world, discussing their traditions, their music, their dances, and, of course, their cuisine. 

Become a little more worldly by checking out some of our other articles now!
 

 

 
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