Dishes You Don't Want To Miss When You're In New England

New England boasts a cuisine that's unlike any other in the US. It's often characterized by the abundance of dairy products and seafood — and lack of spices — used in popular dishes. Also, baked, stewed, and steamed dishes tend to be more popular than fried foods throughout the region — with a few exceptions. Discover some of New England's must-try dishes before your next trip.

Boston Baked Beans

Boston isn't nicknamed "Beantown" for nothing. Boston baked beans originated there, and the dish became so popular that it earned the city its famous nickname. But how do Boston baked beans differ from other types of baked beans? They are baked in a combination of molasses, maple syrup, and bacon, which gives the dish a stronger, sweeter flavor. Also, most other baked beans are actually stewed instead of baked.

Fish and Chips

Fish and chips is one of the few fried foods that New England does right. The fish in New England fish and chips is typically haddock or cod. It's often beer-battered or coated in a thick English-style batter so that it has a thicker, heavier crust. Most restaurants serve the fish with a side of tartar sauce and a lemon wedge. However, several restaurants in the Boston area top the fish with coleslaw. Expect the fries served with the fish to be more like a steak fry than traditional English chips. They are usually lightly seasoned with salt and black pepper and come with a side of malt vinegar.

New England Clam Chowder

You'll find several different types of clam chowder in restaurants throughout New England. However, New England clam chowder is probably the most well known. It's especially popular in Massachusetts and Maine. It's a rich, cream-based chowder with a thick consistency filled with clams, onions, and potatoes. It's common for restaurants to serve oyster crackers with New England clam chowder, which diners promptly crush and mix into the soup.

You'll find a tomato-based clam chowder in some parts of Rhode Island and Manhattan. But overall, using tomatoes instead of milk in clam chowder is shunned. In fact, it was once such as controversial topic that a bill was introduced to the Maine legislature that would make it illegal to make clam chowder using tomatoes — the bill didn't pass.

From lobster bisque, lobster rolls, and white clam pizza to maple syrup and Boston cream pie, New England is home to numerous unique, mouth-watering meals. So when you're traveling through the area, make time to visit local eateries. You won't regret it.