Specifically Maryland

Ann Marie Brokmeier

I didn’t grow up in Maryland, and so when I moved here, I was inundated with food that is specifically Maryland. Some are year-round treats, while others only make an appearance during a certain season or at a specific festival. Here is a quick roundup of the most well-known and well-appreciated in The Free State.

 

Lemonstick
I encountered the Lemonstick for the first time this weekend. As far as I know, it is only present during the weekend of the Baltimore Flowermart (and therefore, some Marylanders are completely unaware of its existence). It sounds like a strange concept, but go with me here: they cut open a lemon, stick a thick peppermint stick in the open end and you suck the lemon juice through the peppermint stick as if it were a straw. The sour taste of the lemon ends up filtering through the sugar of the peppermint and it creates a refreshing candy-flavored juice.

 

Scrapple
Yes, Marylanders, this is something that I have only seen in the Mid-Atlantic. Scrapple is traditionally eaten as a breakfast meat. It comes in a loaf and the traditional way to prepare it is to slice a piece off of the loaf and fry it. I’ve eaten it alone and on a breakfast sandwich. It’s delicious…until you find out what it’s made of. To spare you the gross-factor, I will just say that the loaf is created out of unused portions of pork. The making of scrapple has even appeared on an episode of Dirty Jobs.

 

Crab Feast
Crabs are eaten in other parts of the world, and crab cakes and other crab dishes are recreated elsewhere. Something that is not common in other locations, however, is the crab feast. For a crab feast, you will need a bushel of Maryland Blue Crabs, a bunch of little wooden crab mallets, the famous Old Bay seasoning and a bunch of hungry folks. Cracking a crab is not an easy task and learning how to do it is a sort-of rite of passage in the Mid-Atlantic. It’s a lot of work for a little meat, but it’s the process that is wholly Maryland.

 

Snowball
Yeah, you know what a sno-cone is, but I’m betting that you’ve never actually had a real Maryland Snowball before. It is constructed similarly to a sno-cone, but don’t be fooled, Maryland has specific requirements for their Snowballs: the ice must be finely shaved (like snow), the flavor is poured over the ice, and then (in many cases) it is topped with marshmallow. That’s not it though; the flavors range from your “normal” cherry and grape to more wild flavors such as Wedding Cake, Egg Custard and Chocolate Pudding. This is such a well-known summer treat that there are even news articles dedicated to the Best Snowball Stands in Baltimore.

 

Berger Cookies
Berger Cookies are a Baltimore staple. This decadent cookie’s history began in Baltimore in 1835. Berger Cookies are essentially soft shortbread cookies topped with a thick layer of chocolate fudge and have inspired other mouthwatering desserts such as Dangerously Delicious’ Baltimore Bomb Pie and Taharka Brothers’ Berger Cookie ice cream.

 

Did I miss anything? Post your favorite Mid-Atlantic treat in the comments below.

 


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