Baltimore is an amazing place when it comes to food. The coastal city is famous for crab cakes and other seafood, but a few ingredients stand out as being cultural icons of the area. These are a few flavors unique to Baltimore and where to try them.
4 Defining Flavors of Baltimore and Where You Can Try Them:
Seafood is popular all along the east coast, but in Baltimore, it's the blue crab that stands out as an iconic part of this city. This is because blue crabs are found in abundance in the Chesapeake Bay. This staple food is also served in a variety of ways. These are a few area restaurants known for blue crab and the unique ways they're prepared:
- Blakes Crab House — known for steamed blue crabs and many other crab dishes
- Mama's On the Half Shell — known for soft shell crabs and its stellar raw bar
- Koco's Pub — known for comforting Baltimore crab soup
- Maisy's — known for the jumbo lump crab cake
Old Bay Seasoning:
Blue crab is famous in Baltimore, but it's really only an iconic Maryland dish served alongside Old Bay seasoning. Celery salt, black pepper, and red pepper are among the many herbs and spices that comprise this beloved city staple. You can find it at any reputable establishment that serves Baltimore seafood favorites, such as crab cakes, crab soup, and Chesapeake Bay oysters. This seasoning is even a key ingredient in the eponymous Old Bay Bloody Mary. Try Miss Shirley's for this alcoholic drink garnished with crab meat and Old Bay.
Chocolate earns a spot as a Baltimore staple flavor solely for its inclusion in one of the city's most popular desserts: Berger cookies. DeBaufre Bakeries, a South Baltimore business, has made these treats for decades. In fact, the bakery's history in the city goes back to 1835. You can only get these cookies at stores in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas.
Of course, you don't have to go all the way to South Baltimore or even try a Berger cookie to experience this classic Baltimore flavor. It's the perfect ingredient for any recipe you'd like to sweeten up in Charm City fashion. Chocolate is even an excellent flavor in home beer brewing and DIY vape juicing. If you're into either of these hobbies, try this flavor out for a uniquely Baltimore batch.
Seasonal Fruits and Produce:
If you've tried all the crab and oysters you can handle and have even visited a Baltimore store for Berger cookies, you're well on your way to becoming an expert in this area's best dishes. A final tip is to go straight to the source for the most authentically Maryland foods you can find.
Check out local farmers markets or stop by a roadside produce stand to interact with Baltimore farmers and small business owners. Depending on the season, you can find everything from apples to peppers, raspberries, sweet potatoes, watermelon, and more grown from local soil.
Baltimore is a fantastic city, and arguably the best way to experience its culture is to dive into some of its most popular dishes firsthand. You can even try some of these ingredients in your own recipes to bring some of the east coast's best flavors into your kitchen.