World of food and wine looks at a fascinating variety of customs and traditions in different countries across the globe, describing how the world cooks, eats, and drinks.
Food in Massachusetts
The first Thanksgiving - consider it the first big food event in the United States- was celebrated in Massachusetts in 1621. The Mayflower and the Pilgrims arrived in 1620. They had brought supplies and seeds, but when they landed at Plymouth it was too late in the season to harvest any food. The soil and climate in the new land was not ad to some of their crops anyway.
Knowing virtually nothing about hunting, farming and gathering food in this new world, the Pilgrims would have starved to death had it not been for the help they received from Wampanoag Indians, who shared their food and knowledge through the winter.
Pilgrims and Wampanoag celebrated Thanksgiving together after the first successful crop. Ducks, geese, deer, cod, and bread were on that Thanksgiving menu, and also were wild turkeys, squashes, corn, local beans and cranberry sauce sweetened with maple sugar, foods not know to the Pilgrims before.
The first commercial yogurts were made in Andover in 1931. it was marketed as a health food but it became very popular when someone added strawberry jam to it. Massachusetts also helped to make chocolate chip cookies popular when Nestle Company published the recipe from inkeeper's wife at the Toll House Inn, Whitman, on the back of their chocolate wrappers.
Massachusetts has the largest cranberry crop between the States. Cranberries are grown especially on Cape Cod, in wet areas called bogs. The bogs are flooded to protect the plants from pests and frost. Cranberries don’t mind as they need a large supply of water nearby. The cranberries have tiny air pockets inside and float to the surface. The harvesters only need to go in the water with big rakes to collect the crop.
Fishing is also important in Massachusetts. Fishing boats bring in scallops, cod, and haddock. Other farm products include milk and eggs.
People living on the coast eat lots of cod, lobster, fish and chips, fried clams, oysters and all kinds of seafood. Inland, the like seafood as well, but they tend to eat more meat. You will notice the healthy trends around university towns and medical center where the diet includes tofu, soy milk and ethnic foods and you can find a vegetarian restaurant almost in every corner.
…and food events
Cranberry Harvest Festival in September and you might double with the clam festival.