About Regional Flavor
Lobster shore dinners, lobster rolls, lobster pie, lobster bisque, and lobster stew are stars of the Maine shoreline, but there’s so much more to the Pine Tree State. New England boiled corned beef dinners are a treat in many diners, which make leftovers into red flannel hash. Muffins are the favored morning breadstuff inland and along the coast. Up north along the International Boundary look for the buckwheat pancakes known as ployes, and for Yankee variations of Quebec’s French-fry and cheese curd favorite, poutine.
Maine Regional Specialties
The downeast version of a lobster roll, sometimes called a lobster salad roll, includes pieces of cool lobster just barely veiled in mayonnaise, preferably presented in a split-top bun that has been grilled on both sides. Goodness depends on the amount of lobster, the size of its chunks and, of course, its utter freshness.
Eaten in the remote northland of the upper St. John River Valley, a ploye is a pancake made by pouring a circle of thin buckwheat batter onto a hot griddle, cooking it very briefly and never flipping it. The underside gets crisp while the top stays soft and develops countless little holes that are porous enough to absorb substantial amounts of butter and maple syrup or to sop up the last of the gravy from a plate of pot roast.
Indian pudding is one of New England's fundamental comfort foods, a primeval samp of beaten corn boiled with milk and molasses, cooked for hours, and served warm. Some aspiring chefs add raisins, spice, and other frippery, but the only traditional add-on is a scoop of ice cream. It traditionally is dessert, but, like apple pie, it can also be a dandy breakfast.