Welcome to the great state of Maryland! Known for its picturesque coastal towns, historic landmarks, and delicious seafood, Maryland is a state with a rich history and culture.
But Maryland is also known for its delicious seafood, particularly crab dishes. However, the state’s food scene isn’t just about crab cakes and Old Bay seasoning.
From the Eastern Shore’s famous Smith Island cake to the Baltimore staple of pit beef, Maryland offers a diverse and delicious array of foods.
Let’s take a tasty tour of some of the state’s most popular and traditional Maryland state food.
Table of Contents
The 16 Best Maryland State Food
Steamed Blue Crabs
Steamed blue crabs are a true delicacy of the Chesapeake Bay region and very popular Maryland state food.
The process of steaming blue crabs is simple, but the result is a delicious and satisfying meal that will please any seafood lover.
To prepare steamed blue crabs, live crabs are first cleaned and then placed in a steamer basket or pot with a mixture of water, beer, and Old Bay seasoning.
The pot is then covered and steamed for about 20-30 minutes until the crabs turn a bright red and are fully cooked.
The best way to eat steamed blue crabs is to pick the meat out of the shell with your hands. It’s a messy and delicious experience that requires patience, but it is worth it! It’s usually served with melted butter and lemon wedges.
Steamed blue crabs are a popular summertime treat, and many seafood restaurants and crab shacks specialize in serving them.
But it’s also a great Maryland taste to enjoy with friends and family in your backyard. They are a staple of Maryland cuisine and a must-try for any seafood lover visiting the state.
Maryland Pit Beef
Maryland pit beef is a traditional Baltimore-area dish that is a must-try for any food lover exploring the tastes of Maryland. This delicious sandwich is made with slow-roasted beef cooked over a charcoal pit, giving it a unique and irresistible smoky flavor.
The beef is usually cooked for several hours until it is tender and juicy. It is then thinly sliced and piled high on a kaiser roll, topped with raw onions and a spicy horseradish sauce.
One of the best places to try pit beef is t a classic Baltimore pit beef stand, where the beef is typically served with a side of fries and a cold drink.
It is also a popular menu item at many local pubs and bars and can be found at local fairs and festivals.
Pit beef is a delicious and unique way to experience the flavors of Baltimore and Maryland. So if you’re looking for a tasty sandwich with a smoky taste and a bit of a kick, give Maryland pit beef a try!
Smith Island Cake
Smith Island cake is a traditional and luscious dessert from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and it’s a must-try for any sweet tooth visiting the state. This multi-layered cake is made with a rich buttery yellow cake and frosted with creamy fudge icing.
The origins of Smith Island cake can be traced back to the small island community of Smith Island, where the local women traditionally made it.
Each layer of the cake is a thin sheet of yellow cake, with a generous amount of fudge icing spread between each layer. The cake is typically topped with a final layer of icing and sometimes a sprinkle of shredded coconut.
Smith Island cake is a classic and traditional dessert that locals and visitors love. It’s a perfect way to finish a seafood dinner or as a treat on its own.
The cakes are often found in local bakeries and restaurants around the Eastern Shore and can be ordered online to be shipped anywhere.
It’s a delicious and unique way to experience the tastes of Maryland and a great way to finish a meal. If you’re looking for a rich and decadent dessert, give Smith Island cake a try!
Crab cakes are a true delicacy of Maryland cuisine. This taste of Maryland should be mandatory for any seafood lover visiting the state. These delicious cakes are made with fresh crab meat mixed with various ingredients such as breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, and Old Bay seasoning.
The crab cakes are then formed into patties and often pan-fried or broiled until the outside is golden brown and the interior is warm and fluffy.
Crab cakes are usually served with various sides, such as fries, coleslaw, or even macaroni salad.
A traditional Maryland seafood restaurant is one of the best venues to try crab cakes, where they are frequently offered as a starter or a main course.
They are also a popular menu item at local pubs and bars and can be found at local fairs and festivals throughout the state.
Try crab cakes if you’re looking for a traditional seafood dish that truly represents the tastes of the state of Maryland.
They are a staple of Maryland cuisine, and you should not leave the state without giving them a try.
National Bohemian, also known as “Natty Boh,” is a beloved beer brand that has been a constant in Maryland for over 150 years. It has been a local favorite since the National Brewing Company in Baltimore, Maryland, produced it for the first time in 1885.
Natty Boh is a classic American lager known for its crisp, refreshing taste and easy-drinking nature.
It’s a great beer to enjoy while watching a game or hanging out with friends. It’s also a popular choice at local bars and pubs and is often served at Baltimore’s famous crab shacks and seafood restaurants.
National Bohemian is also known for its iconic one-eyed mascot, “Mr. Boh,” who has been a part of the brand’s imagery for many years.
Mr. Boh is a must-see for visitors to Baltimore, and his statue can be found at the brewery’s original location, which is now a popular tourist destination.
National Bohemian is a beer that is not just a drink but a cultural symbol of Baltimore and Maryland.
It’s a beer that brings people together, and it’s a great way to experience the local culture. If you’re looking for a refreshing beer with a rich history, give Natty Boh a try!
Crab Potato Chips
These crispy, salty treats are the perfect snack for crab lovers everywhere. Made with real crab meat and a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning, these chips pack a big crabby punch in every bite.
They’re perfect for munching on while watching the game, enjoying a summer cookout, or adding to your sandwich or salad.
These chips are not only delicious but also a fun and unique way to enjoy crab. They’re a great alternative for those who want to enjoy crab flavor but not the mess of cracking the shells.
So go ahead, grab a bag and get ready to satisfy your crab cravings in chip form. These chips will have you feeling the true taste of Maryland state food in no time.
Trust us; you won’t be able to stop at just one handful. So, be prepared to stock up because once you try these crab potato chips, you’ll be hooked!
Old Bay Seasoning
The Maryland cuisine classic, Old Bay Seasoning, is a distinct blend of herbs and spices. The flavor takes its name from the Old Bay Line, a passenger ship line that operated on the Chesapeake Bay in the early twentieth century.
The seasoning was created by a German immigrant named Gustav Brunn in 1939, and it quickly became a popular seasoning for seafood dishes in the Maryland area.
Old Bay Seasoning is a versatile seasoning that can be used on various dishes, but it’s particularly popular on seafood such as crab, shrimp, and fish. It’s also great on chicken, potatoes, corn on the cob, and even popcorn.
It’s a unique blend of celery salt, pepper, and paprika, with a hint of mustard, bay leaves, and other spices.
The seasoning is also popular in many local seafood restaurants and crab shacks.
Old Bay seasoning is also available in most grocery stores, and you can use it to create your own Maryland-style dishes at home.
To experience the flavors of Maryland, give Old Bay seasoning a try. If you’re looking for a seasoning that can add a lot of flavor to your seafood dishes, Old Bay is it!
Fisher’s Popcorn is a beloved and iconic popcorn brand that has been a standard of the Eastern Shore of Maryland for over 80 years.
It was founded in 1937 by Earl and Salie Fisher in the small town of Ocean City, Maryland. It is known for its delicious, hand-crafted popcorn with only the highest quality ingredients.
Fisher’s Popcorn is famous for its “secret recipe” of buttery caramel popcorn, which is made by hand in small batches.
The popcorn is kettle-cooked in pure coconut oil and then coated with a delicious blend of sweet and savory flavors.
The brand also offers a variety of flavors like plain, cheese, and chocolate-covered popcorn.
Fisher’s Popcorn is a perfect snack for any occasion, whether at the beach, watching a movie, or just needing a quick pick-me-up.
It’s a great way to experience the Eastern Shore of Maryland flavors, and it’s a popular treat for locals and visitors alike.
Fisher’s Popcorn is available online and can be found in stores throughout Maryland and the surrounding states.
So, if you’re looking for a delicious and iconic snack, give Fisher’s Popcorn a try! It’s a tasty treat that will make you feel like a true Eastern Shore local.
Lemon sticks are a classic and delicious treat from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. These sweet and tangy treats are made by cutting a lemon into thin slices, then dipping them in sugar and allowing them to dry.
Lemon sticks are a refreshing and unique snack that is perfect for hot summer days. They are also a great addition to your picnic basket or a sweet treat after a meal.
They are known for their unique taste that combines the tangy flavor of lemon with the sweetness of sugar, making them a deliciously satisfying treat.
Lemon sticks can be found virtually everywhere throughout the Eastern Shore of Maryland. They are also available in some local stores and can be ordered online.
They are a classic and beloved treat that is a staple of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and a must-try for any sweet tooth visiting the state.
Coddies are a delicious and traditional snack that originated in the Baltimore area. They are made by mixing codfish, mashed potatoes, and cracker crumbs, then shaping them into small cakes and frying them to a golden brown.
Coddies are often served as a snack or as a light meal, usually accompanied by tartar sauce or mustard.
They are known for their crispy exterior and flaky, flavorful cod inside. They are a great alternative for those who want to enjoy seafood but not the mess of cracking the shells.
Coddies can be found in some of the Baltimore area’s seafood restaurants and fish markets. They are also popular at local fairs and festivals, and sometimes they can be found in local convenience stores and markets.
Coddies are a delicious and unique way to experience the flavors of the best Maryland state food. For a tasty and traditional snack, give coddies a try!
They are a Baltimore classic and a must-try for any seafood lover visiting the state.
Maryland is home to many beautiful lakes and rivers, and one of the most popular fish found in these waters is the lake trout.
Lake trout, also known as mackinaw, is a type of freshwater fish that are native to the Great Lakes region of North America, but they can also be found in many other bodies of water, including the lakes of Maryland.
They are known for their delicate flavor and firm texture, making them popular among anglers and seafood lovers.
Lake trout are usually caught in the colder months, from October to April. They are typically caught by anglers using lures or baits such as minnows, worms, or artificial lures.
Grilled, broiled, or even smoked, they can be enjoyed in various ways.
In Maryland, you can find lake trout in many restaurants and markets, and it is definitely a must-try for seafood lovers.
It is a great way to enjoy the taste of the lake and the natural beauty of Maryland.
Maryland Crab Soup
This hearty soup is made with various ingredients, including crab meat, vegetables, and spices, and it is an authentic taste of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay.
Crab soup is a popular dish in Maryland, and it can be found at many restaurants, seafood markets, and even at local festivals and events.
It is typically made with fresh crab meat, simmered with vegetables such as onions, celery, and potatoes, and a variety of spices such as Old Bay seasoning, a unique blend of herbs and spices created in Baltimore in 1939.
One of the great things about Maryland Crab Soup is that it can be enjoyed in many different ways. Some people like it thick and creamy, while others prefer a clear broth.
It can also be served with various toppings, such as a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning, or even some crackers.
Crab soup is a must-try in Maryland; it’s not just delicious but also a great way to enjoy the taste of the Chesapeake Bay.
Overall, Maryland Crab Soup is a delicious and hearty dish that is sure to please seafood lovers. If you’re ever in Maryland, be sure to give it a try!
This fish is a favorite among anglers and seafood lovers alike and is known for its delicate flavor and firm texture.
Rockfish are found in the Chesapeake Bay and are known for their distinctive stripes, which is where they get their name.
They can grow quite large and weigh up to 50 pounds, though most are caught between 10-20 pounds. They can be caught year-round, but the best time to catch them is spring and fall.
When it comes to cooking, Rockfish can be enjoyed in many ways, such as grilling, broiling, or even smoking. However, it’s a lean fish, so it’s essential not to overcook it.
It can be paired with many flavors like lemon, butter, and herbs, and it’s a great fish to use in soups, stews, and chowders.
Rockfish is a staple in Maryland seafood restaurants and can be found in many markets and seafood shops. Be sure to give it a try to experience one of the best tastes of Maryland. It’s a delicious and versatile fish that amazes seafood lovers.
Berger Cookies are popular Maryland state food, and if you haven’t tried one yet, you’re in for a real treat!
These cookies are made with rich, buttery shortbread and topped with a thick layer of chocolate fudge. The combination of the buttery shortbread and the rich chocolate is truly a match made in heaven.
Berger Cookies were first made by Henry Berger, a German immigrant, in 1835 in Baltimore. The recipe was passed down through generations, and now it’s produced by DeBaufre Bakeries.
They are sold in many grocery stores and bakeries throughout the state.
One of the great things about Berger Cookies is that they can be enjoyed in many different ways. Some people like to eat them straight out of the package, while others like to warm them up for a few seconds in the microwave to make the chocolate fudge topping even more gooey and delicious. They can also be paired with a cold glass of milk, coffee, or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Berger Cookies are a must-try in Maryland; they’re an authentic taste and a beloved traditional Maryland state food.
Chesapeake Bay Oysters
These oysters are harvested from the Chesapeake Bay, which is located on the East Coast of the United States and is the largest estuary in North America.
Chesapeake Bay oysters are considered some of the best in the world and are known for their plump and meaty appearance. They are typically harvested from September to April and are considered a winter delicacy.
They can be enjoyed raw on the half-shell with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of hot sauce, grilled, fried, or even used in soups and stews.
Chesapeake Bay oysters are a common sight in Maryland seafood restaurants and can be found in many markets and seafood shops, where you can enjoy them fresh and served in many different ways.
They are a true taste of the Chesapeake Bay and a beloved Maryland state food.
Stuffed Ham is a traditional dish popular in Maryland and is a great example of the Maryland state food culture.
This dish is made by stuffing a cooked ham with a mixture of bread crumbs, herbs, and spices. The ham is then baked to perfection, creating a delicious and flavorful meal.
Stuffed Ham is typically made with a bone-in, spiral-cut ham and is traditionally served at Easter and Christmas.
It is also a popular dish at other holiday celebrations and family gatherings. Some of the common ingredients used in the stuffing are bread crumbs, herbs such as parsley and thyme, and spices such as nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
Some variations include adding fruit, nuts, or even cheese.
One of the great things about Stuffed Ham is that it can be enjoyed in many different ways. Some people like to eat it hot, straight out of the oven, while others prefer it cold, as leftovers.
It can also be paired with various sides, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or macaroni and cheese.
Stuffed Ham is a must-try in Maryland; it’s a dish sure to please meat lovers.
FAQs Maryland State Food
What is the most famous food in Maryland?
Maryland is known for its delicious seafood, and one of the state’s most famous foods is the Maryland Blue Crab. These crabs are caught in the Chesapeake Bay and are often steamed and served with Old Bay seasoning.
Are there any festivals or events in Maryland that celebrate the state’s food?
There are several festivals and events in Maryland that celebrate the state’s food, particularly seafood. For example, the Maryland Seafood Festival is an annual event held in September, which features live music, craft vendors, and a wide variety of seafood dishes.
Where can I find the best crab cakes in Maryland?
The best crab cakes in Maryland can be found at local seafood restaurants and crab shacks along the Chesapeake Bay. Some popular restaurants include Faidley’s Seafood in Baltimore and L.P. Steamer’s in Annapolis.
Conclusion: Maryland State Food
In conclusion, Maryland is the land of delicious seafood, and it’s not just for the birds! Blue crab reigns supreme as the state food and is the show’s star.
Old Bay seasoning, Smith Island Cake, and Smithfield ham are crowd-pleasers that will leave your taste buds dancing.
And let’s not forget the traditional Maryland state food like crab cakes, crab soup, crab dip, oyster stew, and the Chesapeake Bay fried oysters that will have you craving more.
Maryland is also a seafood lover’s paradise, with plenty of seafood restaurants and crab shacks sure to knock your socks off.
And if you’re feeling festive, many events and festivals celebrate Maryland state food.
Overall, Maryland’s state food is a playful and delicious representation of the state’s rich food culture, with a variety of seafood, sandwiches, cakes, cookies, and more.
It is a true taste of the Chesapeake Bay and a must-try for foodies who are ready for an adventure!
So come on down and taste Maryland; you won’t be disappointed!
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Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever