- Food and Cooking
Edible Gifts for People Who Have Moved From Maryland
Marylanders Love Their Food
I am aware that people from every region and every country have their food preferences, specialties, and cooking styles. It is evident to me that this is especially true for Marylanders. People in this state love their food as much (or more) than they love their football. While I'm not a foodie, I do know good food when I eat it. And I've come to love and crave some of these items as though I've lived here all of my life.
Over the years, I've noticed how much people who have emigrated or expatriated from this state still love the food. I have participated things such as sending care packages to service persons deployed out of the country. I have read comments from Marylanders who are living far from home. They love the gifts of Maryland food. They crave the tastes of the region. In this lens, I will share with you some of those highly sought after flavors from this region.
Maryland is well known for the blue crabs. Events are planned around crabs and crab-feasting. Lives revolve around crabs. Family traditions and careers around the crab are passed down for generations. It is fairly easy to know that blue crabs are the region specialty. Less known are the chocolates and the cookies. I plan to share with you some of the wonderful tastes of Maryland.
Image Credit: Dawn Rae -- All Rights Reserved (Click on photo for larger view)
Seafood Seasoning - To be sprinkled liberally on nearly everything edible in Maryland.
I'm from Indiana originally. I hadn't been much of a seafood consumer in Indiana. Old Bay is likely available in the stores. But I'd never heard of it. Never used it. Oh, I had plenty of fresh caught fish fry opportunities, but I used bread crumbs, or beer batter, or seasoned salt and such. Never Old Bay.
When I first moved to Maryland, the seafood not only tasted naturally seafoody, but also had a strong, seasoned flavor. It was good, but often it was too strong for my palate. At first. Now, I also use it, abuse it, and crave it.
Old Bay is a necessity for blue crab and shrimp preparation. Don't you dare try to prepare any sort of fish or seafood meal without it. But, like original Marylanders, I have become accustomed to using it on my french fries, pork chops, hamburgers, deviled eggs, cheesy pastas, and nearly every meat or soup meal I prepare. If i ever leave Maryland, I will take a case (not one sprinkle can; an entire case) of Old Bay with me.
I have seen others who have left Maryland (or who were deployed) ask others to send them care packages that included Old Bay. Or who gave profuse thanks to those thoughtful enough to send it as a gift. How convenient that it is currently available on Amazon. Click the link below to take a closer look.
Wockenfuss Homemade Candy - In the year 2015, Wockenfuss celebrates it's 100th year!
I first sampled Wockenfuss during one of my first visits to the wonderful waterside city; Ocean City, Maryland. Oh, heaven. I love chocolate. I love chocolate a lot. I like homemade chocolate. Back home, there was a wonderful little chocolate shop on mainstreet that I would visit as a special treat. Their show cases lined with wonderful flavors of every kind of chocolate you can imagine. That's the same with Wockenfuss. Imagine though, walking along the boardwalk, waves pounding, and stepping into the cool reprieve of a chocolate shop.
Chocolate with caramel and nuts are always my favorite. But I'm sure that you can find your favorite here also. In addition to the chocolates, they carry yummy items such as orange slices, chocolate covered apples, and jelly bellies.
You can visit Wockenfuss at their online site by clicking the big arrow below. If you are in a hurry to satisfy that chocolate craving, you can click one of the Amazon linkes below to begin shopping. How convenient is that?
Mary Sue Candy
Delicious Goodness: "Creamy Caramel, Fluffy Nougat, rolled in the Finest Pecans"
Oh.... Mary Sue....I love you.
I am not a religious person, not in the organized religion sense. But wow, I count down for Easter every year since moving here. I've discovered that a rare, miraculous thing happens in Maryland at that time of year. The stores start stocking these wonderful "eggs" by Mary Sue.
Mary Sue is a candy company, since 1948. Follow the Big Arrow link below for the official website and more information. But I can tell you that Mary Sue's specialty has got to be the Pecan Nougat Egg. Only one peek at the delectable piece of heaven will tell you that it's going to be good. Only one little taste will have you addicted.
Of course, Mary Sue makes a great many other things: almond bark, boxed chocolates, peanut brittle, and salt water taffy just to name a few. The website takes orders all year, thank goodness! But the Easter and Christmas Holidays have the local stores brimming with Mary Sue goodness.
Image Credit: Dawn Rae -- All Rights Reserved (Click on photo for larger view)
Rheb's Homemade Candies
Recommended by the Marylander of the family.
As soon as I said that I was preparing to write this lens, it started with my love of Mary Sue's Nougat eggs and I'm counting down for Easter already, the Mister shouted out "Rheb's!".
"Rheb's what?" I replied.
"Rheb's chocolate; downtown", he replies. Yah, he's a real talker.
So, I looked it up and pressed him for more information. I've not been there yet. Can you believe he brought it up but hasn't taken me yet? Men. But he says they are great and everyone (but me) knows about Rheb's. He loves their Turtles and their boxed chocolates.
You can see their website by clicking the Big Arrow link below.
CRAB CAKES! - Pappas Crab cakes are the Best.
Marylanders eat crabs. Whole crabs, soft-shelled crabs, and crab cakes. I don't fully understand the love of sitting at a table covered in kraft paper, hitting a crab with a hammer, cutting your fingers while you pull at the shell, avoiding the deadman's fingers, so you can eat a little crab mustard and meat. Nope. I don't get it. Yes, I hear Marylander's booing and hissing me. But I still don't get it. It's so much work for such a tiny bit of meat.
What I do get is crab cakes. Delicious, divine, jumbo meat crab cakes. There's a place called Al's seafood that has wonderful crab cakes (among other things). Then I went to Pappa's Restaurant.
Oh...goodness. I'm not a foodie, so I can't describe how wonderful these crab cakes are. They have several awards, including being Zagat Rated 2011. Whatever that is. I don't know how prestigious that is. But I do know that after I found the place, everyone who has ever come to visit me is treated to a Pappa's crab cake. And every time they return, they ask for another.
The best news is that you can order the food, this means crab cakes, from Pappas. Since their service has always been stellar, I'd imagine their shipped orders are just as good.
To get more information, please follow the Big Arrow link to the Pappas Restaurant Official website.
** I've decided this section will need a photo of a Pappas crabcake. Of course, I will have to purchase these crab cakes in order to take a photo. Stay tuned. Until then, the following crab cake photo is courtesy of Wikimedia creative commons.**
While searching for "I love Crab Cake" items, look what I found. It's this a gorgeous serving plate?!
A DVD About Eating Crabs -- say it isn't so.
But it is true. A DVD about eating crabs and crab cakes. Just click the amazon link to have your own. If you've seen this on PBS, I'd love to hear what you thought of it.
Everyone in Maryland recommends Berger's cookies.
Berger's Cookies began in 1835, by a German Immigrant. Henry Berger was a baker and opened a bakery upon his arrival in East Baltimore.
These are wonderful "cakey" cookies that are hand-dipped in German, chocolaty fudge frosting. You just have to taste one to understand.
These cookies are so good they've appeared on The Talk, Rachel Ray, and Zagat.
You can find your cookies by clicking the Big Arrow link below to go the the official Berger's Cookies site.
Image Credit: Photo of Berger's cookies courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons
Special Treats Nearby -- UTZ chips.
UTZ chips are in Pennsylvania, just over the Maryland-Pennsylvania line. You can go to the UTZ potato chip factory and purchase the fresh or bulk chips there. It's crazy. I love that store. I once drove all the way up there for a pair of shoes at a local store and to load up at the UTZ store.
UTZ chips are fantastic. They come in local flavors, such as Crab Chips. They come in "normal" flavors such as regular, sour cream and onion, and BBQ. The more exotic flavors include salt & vinegar, pepper, and kettle classics smokin' sweet BBQ. Here's a disclaimer, if you like BBQ flavor, be prepared to become addicted to the kettle classics smokin' sweet BBQ chips.
Good news! You can order your supply of UTZ chips on Amazon, just click the amazon links. Or, visit the UTZ official website on the Big Arrow link below and shop in their store. Pay special attention to their "holiday favorites" and the gift boxes and tin sections.
Please stop and say hello. I'd love to hear if you've ever eaten any of these things. Especially, if you are an original Marylander and have regional food ideas I could and should try.