USA Food Tour: Massachusetts


When I started the USA Food Tour series I knew I wanted to conquer Massachusetts during the holiday season. My sister Michele lives in Boston and last year I discovered how wonderful the city is this time of the year. Once we settled on a weekend, I started my research to discover exactly what Massachusetts is known for.

First, we found that the chocolate chip cookie recipe, specifically the Toll House Cookie recipe was first created in Whitman, MA at none other than the Toll House Inn. Ruth Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn, came upon this recipe by a mere mistake. The story goes that Ruth had run out of bakers chocolate when baking up a batch of cookies for her patrons. She decided to drop in Nestle’s Semi Sweet morsels in, figuring they would melt. To her surprise, they hadn’t and the patrons loved the cookies just as they were. Being the gracious host that she is, Michele surprised us with a batch of the classic Toll House Cookies.  Though they were the drop and bake, they were still delicious and fitting for our weekend.

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Next we had learned that cranberries and cranberry bogs are very popular in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. So popular that cranberry juice is the official state beverage. Again, Michele wanted to tie this into our weekend. She baked up a delicious Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread from a recipe by our favorite baking blogger, Sally. It was perfect for breakfast.


The main event of the weekend was New England Clam Chowder, also known as Boston Clam Chowder. Now I did not just want to pick any ole’ place during our trip to enjoy a hearty bowl of chowder. So naturally, I did some research. What I found was perfect for my tour. The Union Oyster House is the oldest restaurant in continuous service in the entire United States. They first started serving in 1826. Fun fact, since it’s opening the Union Oyster House has known only three owners!

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We decided this would a perfect stop for lunch during our weekend through Boston. However, we arrived a little later than planned and there was a wait. We were not sure if we were indeed going to be able to dine there. Michele and her boyfriend John were on a bit of a tight schedule, plus the restaurant was changing over to the dinner menu. I was a little disappointed as it was a major part of our trip, but figured I could pick up a bowl of chowder at Quincy Market. No harm done. When we informed the hostess we were not going to stay due to the time restraint and menu change she informed us that a table had just opened up. She quickly seated us to ensure we would be able to get in for lunch. What great luck!

IMG_9407I was able to order my steaming bowl for lunch and let me tell you, it was wicked good chowda! It was perfectly creamy with a good combination of potatoes and clams. Paired with a few delicious slices of corn bread and I was one happy girl.


We enjoyed a wonderful weekend with Michele and John. I can not thank them enough for showing us around town, cooking us a delicious breakfast, and being such great company. One more state crossed off the list and only 45 more to go! I’m on a roll…kinda!

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