What To Eat In Maryland | 10 Best Famous Foods To Try In Maryland25th April 2023
Maryland, located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, is a state with a vibrant food scene, steeped in history and culture. Known as the “Old Line State,” Maryland is famous for its blue crabs, which are harvested from the Chesapeake Bay and are an integral part of the state’s cuisine.
But Maryland’s food culture goes beyond just seafood, with a diverse array of dishes influenced by the state’s African American, Native American, and European heritage.
In this post, we will explore the 10 best famous Maryland local foods, from iconic dishes to lesser-known gems that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
What is Maryland known for food
1.Maryland Crab Cakes
Maryland crab cakes are an iconic dish that has become synonymous with the state’s cuisine. Made with locally caught blue crabs, the cakes consist of lump crab meat mixed with breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and spices, and are typically served with a side of tartar sauce or remoulade.
What sets Maryland crab cakes apart is the quality of the crab meat used, as well as the minimal amount of filler ingredients. The cakes are meant to highlight the delicate sweetness and texture of the crab meat, rather than mask it with heavy seasoning or breading.
Maryland crab cakes can be found at seafood restaurants throughout the state, but each restaurant may have its own spin on the classic recipe. Some variations include adding Old Bay seasoning or using different types of breadcrumbs.
Overall, Maryland crab cakes are a must-try dish for anyone visiting the state, and are a beloved local delicacy that have become a source of pride for Marylanders.
2.Smith Island Cake
Maryland’s state dessert, the Smith Island Cake is a multi-layered yellow cake with chocolate icing. It is believed to have originated on Smith Island, located off the coast of Maryland.
Smith Island Cake is a famous dessert from Maryland, specifically from Smith Island, a small island located in the Chesapeake Bay. It is a multi-layered cake made with thin layers of yellow cake and chocolate fudge icing. The number of layers can vary from 6 to 15, with 8 or 10 layers being the most common.
Legend has it that Smith Island Cake was created by the wives of watermen who would take the cakes with them on their long journeys at sea. The thin layers of cake and icing allowed the cakes to stay fresh for longer periods of time.
Smith Island Cake has been declared the official state dessert of Maryland, and it is a popular dessert for special occasions such as weddings and birthdays. The cake is also shipped nationwide, and you can order it online or visit one of the bakeries on Smith Island to try it fresh.
In addition to the traditional yellow cake and chocolate fudge icing, there are also variations of Smith Island Cake with other flavors such as coconut, red velvet, and lemon.
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3.Old Bay Seasoning
This famous blend of herbs and spices, including celery salt, paprika, and black pepper, is used to season many Maryland dishes, including seafood.
Old Bay Seasoning is a spice blend that originated in Maryland and has become a staple seasoning in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is a blend of celery salt, pepper, bay leaves, mustard, cloves, ginger, mace, and paprika, with a strong emphasis on celery salt.
Old Bay Seasoning was created in 1939 by a German immigrant named Gustav Brunn who settled in Maryland. He was looking for a way to add flavor to the seafood that was abundant in the Chesapeake Bay, and he came up with a blend of spices that would complement the taste of seafood.
Since then, Old Bay Seasoning has become a beloved seasoning in Maryland and beyond. It is used to flavor seafood, poultry, meat, vegetables, and even beer. It is also a key ingredient in the famous Maryland dish, crab cakes.
Old Bay Seasoning has become so popular that it is now produced and sold by McCormick & Company, a global spice and seasoning company. The seasoning has also become a cultural icon, and there are numerous Old Bay-inspired products available, including potato chips, hot sauce, and even popcorn.
4.Fried Chicken and Waffles
Fried chicken and waffles is a popular dish that originated in the Southern United States and has become a staple in Maryland cuisine as well. It is a combination of crispy fried chicken and fluffy waffles, often served with butter and syrup.
The origins of this dish are somewhat unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the African American community in the Southern United States in the early 20th century. It was often served as a breakfast dish on Sunday mornings after church.
Fried chicken and waffles has since become a popular dish in Maryland, especially in Baltimore. The dish can be found in many soul food restaurants and diners throughout the state, and it is often served as a brunch or breakfast dish.
There are many variations of fried chicken and waffles, with different types of fried chicken (such as buttermilk fried chicken or spicy fried chicken) and waffles (such as Belgian waffles or sweet potato waffles). Some restaurants also add their own twist to the dish by adding different toppings or sauces.
Overall, fried chicken and waffles is a delicious and satisfying dish that has become a beloved part of Maryland cuisine.
5.Maryland Fried Chicken
Maryland Fried Chicken is not actually a traditional Maryland dish. It is a fast-food chain that originated in Florida in the 1950s and has since expanded throughout the United States, including in Maryland.
However, some restaurants in Maryland have put their own spin on the classic Southern dish, which typically consists of fried chicken pieces seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices and served with sides such as mashed potatoes, biscuits, and gravy.
In Maryland, you may find variations that incorporate Old Bay seasoning, a spice blend that is popular in the state and often used to flavor seafood dishes. Some restaurants may also serve Maryland Fried Chicken as a sandwich, topped with coleslaw and pickles.
While it may not be a traditional Maryland dish, Maryland Fried Chicken can still be enjoyed as a delicious and satisfying meal option in the state.
6.Chesapeake Bay Oysters
Chesapeake Bay oysters are a type of oyster that are found in the Chesapeake Bay, which is the largest estuary in the United States, located on the east coast, primarily in Maryland and Virginia. Chesapeake Bay oysters are considered a delicacy and are highly prized for their unique taste and texture.
Chesapeake Bay oysters have been an important part of Maryland’s history and culture for centuries. They were a staple food for Native American tribes who lived along the bay, and they were also popular among European settlers who arrived in the area in the 17th century. By the 19th century, oyster harvesting had become a major industry in Maryland, and the state was the largest oyster producer in the country.
Today, Chesapeake Bay oysters are still an important part of Maryland’s culinary scene, and they are enjoyed raw on the half shell, steamed, or in dishes such as oyster stew, oyster po’ boys, and oyster stuffing.
However, the Chesapeake Bay oyster industry has faced challenges in recent years, including pollution, disease, and over-harvesting. Efforts are being made to restore the oyster population and improve the health of the bay, including through oyster farming and conservation programs.
Overall, Chesapeake Bay oysters are a beloved part of Maryland’s culture and cuisine, and efforts are being made to ensure that they remain a sustainable and thriving part of the state’s ecosystem.
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Pit beef is a type of barbecue that is popular in Maryland, particularly in the Baltimore area. It is made from thinly sliced beef that is grilled over an open flame, typically using a charcoal or wood-fired pit.
Pit beef is traditionally served on a Kaiser roll, with horseradish sauce and onions as toppings. The beef is usually seasoned with a blend of spices that can include salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, and onion powder.
The origins of pit beef in Maryland are unclear, but it is believed to have been popularized in the 1940s and 1950s by pitmasters who set up stands near the steel mills and factories in the Baltimore area. Today, pit beef can be found at many barbecue restaurants and food stands throughout the state.
Pit beef is often served alongside other barbecue favorites, such as pulled pork, ribs, and chicken. It is a popular food for outdoor events, such as fairs, festivals, and sporting events.
Overall, pit beef is a beloved part of Maryland’s culinary scene, and it has become a cultural icon in the Baltimore area. Its simple yet flavorful preparation and distinctive taste make it a must-try for anyone visiting the state.
Berger Cookies are a type of cookie that are popular in Maryland, particularly in the Baltimore area. They are a rich, cake-like cookie that is topped with a thick layer of chocolate frosting.
Berger Cookies were first created in the late 19th century by a German immigrant named Henry Berger, who started a bakery in Baltimore. The cookies became popular in the Baltimore area and have since become a beloved local treat.
Berger Cookies are made using a recipe that has been passed down for generations. The cookies are made with a mixture of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, and they are baked until they are soft and cake-like. The cookies are then topped with a thick layer of chocolate frosting, which is made with semisweet chocolate, heavy cream, and sugar.
Today, Berger Cookies are a staple in many Baltimore-area bakeries and can be found in grocery stores throughout Maryland. They have become a cultural icon in the state, and many Marylanders consider them to be a quintessential part of the state’s cuisine.
Overall, Berger Cookies are a delicious and beloved treat in Maryland, and they are a must-try for anyone visiting the state.
Crab soup is a popular dish in Maryland, where blue crabs are abundant and highly prized. There are many different varieties of crab soup, but most are based on a tomato or cream-based broth and include chunks of crab meat, vegetables, and spices.
One popular type of crab soup in Maryland is the Maryland crab soup, which is a tomato-based soup that typically includes vegetables such as celery, carrots, and onions, as well as potatoes and, of course, chunks of crab meat. The soup is typically seasoned with Old Bay seasoning, a blend of herbs and spices that is synonymous with Maryland cuisine.
Another popular type of crab soup in Maryland is cream of crab soup, which is a creamy soup that is made with a base of heavy cream and milk, and is typically thickened with flour or cornstarch. The soup includes chunks of crab meat and is often seasoned with Old Bay seasoning, as well as other spices and herbs.
Crab soup can be found in many restaurants throughout Maryland, and it is often served as an appetizer or as a main course. It is a beloved part of Maryland cuisine, and many Marylanders consider it to be a comfort food that is perfect for chilly winter days.
Overall, crab soup is a delicious and iconic dish in Maryland, and it is a must-try for anyone visiting the state.
10.Goetze’s Caramel Creams
Goetze’s Caramel Creams are a type of candy that is popular in Maryland, where they are manufactured by the Goetze’s Candy Company, a family-owned business based in Baltimore. They are a chewy caramel candy that is filled with a creamy center, typically vanilla-flavored.
Goetze’s Caramel Creams have been around for more than a century, and they have become a beloved treat in Maryland and beyond. They are known for their distinctive flavor and texture, which comes from the combination of chewy caramel and creamy filling.
In addition to the classic vanilla flavor, Goetze’s Caramel Creams are also available in chocolate and strawberry flavors, as well as seasonal flavors such as apple and pumpkin spice.
Goetze’s Caramel Creams can be found in grocery stores and candy shops throughout Maryland, and they are a popular candy for Halloween and other holidays. They are also a popular snack at sporting events, and they have become a cultural icon in Maryland.
Overall, Goetze’s Caramel Creams are a delicious and beloved candy in Maryland, and they are a must-try for anyone visiting the state.
What is the most popular food in Maryland
The most popular food in Maryland is undoubtedly blue crabs. Maryland blue crabs are caught in the Chesapeake Bay, which is a vital part of the state’s economy and culture. Crab cakes, steamed crabs, crab soups, and crab dips are just a few of the many ways that Marylanders enjoy their beloved blue crabs.
Besides blue crabs, other popular foods in Maryland include Old Bay seasoning, which is used to flavor seafood and other dishes; pit beef, a Baltimore specialty of sliced roast beef; and Smith Island Cake, a multilayered yellow cake with chocolate frosting that is the official dessert of Maryland.
Q: What is the signature dish of Maryland?
A: Maryland is famous for its blue crabs, which are often served as crab cakes, steamed crabs, or in crab soup. These dishes are considered to be the signature dishes of Maryland.
Q: What are some other seafood options in Maryland?
A: Besides blue crabs, Maryland is known for its oysters, clams, rockfish, and scallops. Popular seafood dishes in Maryland include oyster stew, fried oysters, and seafood gumbo.
Q: What are some non-seafood dishes that Maryland is known for?
A: Maryland has a rich culinary tradition beyond seafood, including Smith Island Cake, a multilayered yellow cake with chocolate frosting; pit beef, a Maryland specialty of sliced roast beef; and Old Bay seasoning, a spice blend used to flavor seafood and other dishes.
Q: Where can I find the best crabs in Maryland?
A: Crabs can be found at many seafood restaurants throughout Maryland, but some of the most popular spots include Jimmy’s Famous Seafood in Baltimore, The Crab Claw in St. Michaels, and Cantler’s Riverside Inn in Annapolis.
Q: Are there any vegetarian or vegan options in Maryland cuisine?
A: Yes, many restaurants in Maryland offer vegetarian and vegan options, including vegan crab cakes made with plant-based ingredients. Additionally, the state is known for its steamed vegetables, such as corn on the cob and green beans, which can be enjoyed as side dishes.
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Hello,My name is Aparna Patel,I’m a Travel Blogger and Photographer who travel the world full-time with my hubby.I like to share my travel experience.