Everyone knows that it’s the early European immigrants and their Native American neighbors that we have to thank for Thanksgiving dinner. But when it comes to food, Massachusetts has come a long way from wild turkey recipe swaps between Pilgrims and indigenous peoples.
Boston is a case in point. This fine city lends its name to a number of dishes local in origin, from Boston cream pie and Boston baked beans to Boston brown bread, the latter two Colonial culinary staples that at one time or another certainly gave the founding fathers grist for their mental mills. Boston’s location at the edge of salty Massachusetts Bay means easy access to fresh seafood, from succulent lobster to haddock, stuffed clams (“stuffies”) to Wellfleet oysters (which come from Wellfleet Harbor on Cape Cod Bay). Enjoy a bowl of the city’s famous clam chowder and take your pick of the day’s catch at a reputable spot restaurant like Legal Sea Foods, situated enviably just up from the New England Aquarium, or Union Oyster House (the city’s oldest operational restaurant), where you can fill up on cornbread between courses. Boston is also known for its beer, most famously Samuel Adams brews, on tap at at most pubs or on a tour of the brewery itself.
Venture out to Cape Cod and find, as in Boston, an abundance of fresh sea food, from swordfish, brought in by boats just returned from deep Atlantic waters, to wild yellowfin tuna, wild haddock, wild scallops and tender Wellfleet oysters. Many a local menu might feature ocean caught dinners, but look also in these parts for a cosmopolitan selection of international foods, from pizza to sushi.
Massachusetts also boasts a respectable selection of wineries, a number of which are grouped together southeast of Boston not far from Cape Cod. Sample a superb sparkling varietal at Westpoint Rivers, or tipple on cranberry blended wines at Plymouth Colony Winery as part of a good tasting tour.