House of Nash Eats

Massachusetts

Massachusetts is the most densely populated of all the New England states (there are 6 of them: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.) It was one of the 13 original colonies and is officially the 6th state to be part of the United States of America.

There are lots of famous foods that can claim Massachusetts as their place of origin. But first, a few fun facts about one of America’s most historical states!

Massachusetts Fun Facts

Massachusetts is also known as “The Bay State” or “The Old Colony State”. Less official monikers include “The Pilgrim State”, “The Codfish State”, “The Baked Beans State”, and “The Puritan State”.

Massachusetts got its official name from an Algonquin Indian word meaning “at the great hill” or “large hill place” and it more specifically referred to the geographic landmark of Great Blue Hill in Milton, Massachusetts.

Baseball was created in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891.

The first phone call happened in Boston, Massachusetts in 1876 between Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant, Thomas Watson, who was sitting in another room in the house.

Foods Massachusetts is Known For

  • New England Clam Chowder: Or “chowdah” as they say in Boston.
  • Boston Cream Pie: Invented in 1856 at the Parker House Hotel, this iconic American dessert is actually a cake! At the time, cakes were baked in pie tins, hence the misleading name. Layers of soft yellow cake and vanilla pastry cream are covered with rich chocolate ganache in this delicious treat!
  • Nestle’s Toll House Cookies: Created in Whitman, Massachusetts in 1930, the first chocolate chip cookies deserve special recognition even if it’s a recipe we have all seen on the back of the bag.
  • Fluffernutter Sandwiches: These peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches are a favorite of kids and adults alike. I did a spin on them with my Fluffernutter Cookies that I think you’ll love!
  • Boston Baked Beans: Boston’s nickname is “Beantown” after all. The puritans who settled here wouldn’t work on the Sabbath so they would prepare the beans the day before and leave them to cook overnight in the coals of their fires so they could have something hot to eat the next day without having to make something on their day of rest.
  • Parker House Rolls: Another invention of the famous Parker House Hotel (now the Omni Parker House Hotel), these rolls graced our Thanksgiving table every year when I was growing up.
  • Seafood: Think lobster rolls, scallops, crab, and oysters. Especially oysters. Neighboring states might have stronger claims to the iconic status of some seafood dishes like lobster rolls, but you can find them in Massachusetts too, at places like Neptune Oyster or Yankee Lobster Co. in Boston. Be sure to check out the bacon-wrapped scallops I shared for Massachusetts Week.
  • Corn Muffins: The official “state muffin” because apparently they are that popular.
  • Cannolis: These crispy fried tubes of pastry filled with sweetened ricotta cheese are ubiquitous in and around Boston.
  • Fish and chips: This classic dish is made with white fish like cod, pollock, or haddock and served with tartar sauce on the side. My childhood favorite!
  • Cranberries: Massachusetts is responsible for 1/3 of the GLOBAL cranberry crop. They are one of my FAVORITE ingredients and I have lots of cranberry recipes for you to choose from, but be sure to check out the Cranberry Orange Bread and the Cranberry Jello Salad, which are two of my favorites.