Trends Across the Country: East Coast Seafood

By: Sara Levine

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

To celebrate this year of the Olympics and a presidential election, Cooking Channel asked fans what dishes represent their states and then worked with our kitchens to create original recipes for each of the 50 states. (Read all about the project here.) Each state has its own unique food scene, but we couldn’t help but notice some trends across the map from coast to coast.

Every state has its iconic dish that stirs up all kinds of pride. It sparks countless arguments over where to get the ultimate version, whose grandma's recipe is better or what ingredients are completely sacrilegious to the original. Even the way you serve and eat the dish can separate true locals from pretenders.

To represent my home state of Maryland, Cooking Channel fans were 100 percent accurate in nominating Old Bay steamed blue crabs. Every summer growing up, my family would drive an hour and a half just for dinner on the Chesapeake Bay's eastern shore, where we’d feast on crabs at a dockside place with rustic picnic tables covered in butcher paper (the only way hard-shell crabs should be served).

Before I could even read and write, I was skilled at extracting crabmeat with a small wooden mallet and a plastic knife. As my Louisiana-native husband learned the hard way early on in our relationship, no self-respecting Marylander uses metal lobster crackers for crabs. And if you leave a crab feast and don’t reek of Old Bay seasoning, you’ve done something terribly wrong.

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

All along the East Coast, locals have similar allegiances to their own prized seafood. In Maine, it’s all about lobster and the one dish that could rival a simply steamed one is the lobster roll. In the name of authenticity, Ben Sargent’s version skips the seasonings and celery, letting the fresh lobster flavor shine through.

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Massachusetts natives are serious about their “ chowdah,” and our creamy milk-based version is filled with chunks of potato, bacon and plenty of fresh clams and topped, of course, with oyster crackers. According to folks from Connecticut, New Haven-style white clam pizza simply can’t be replicated correctly outside the state, but we tried our best to develop a recipe that gives a taste of Sally’s and Frank Pepe’s at home.

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

No matter where you live, get a taste of East Coast seafood with our recipes for these state classics. Check out what the other 46 states are bringing to the party, too.

Love these state dishes? Browse America's best foods and more seafood recipes:

Keep Reading

Next Up

Trends Across the Country: Pie

We took a culinary tour across the country, gathering one recipe to represent each state. During development, we noticed a trend -- delicious, pie recipes.

Trends Across the Country: Much Mexican Food

We came up with a list of America's 50 state foods and noticed a trend across the country: the influence of Mexican cuisine in Southwest states' dishes.

Trends Across the Country: Meat Pies

We took a culinary tour across the country, gathering one recipe to represent each state. During development, we noticed a trend -- delicious, handheld meat pie recipes.

Trends Across The Country: Southern BBQ

When it comes to Southern BBQ, styles vary not only from state to state, but city to city.

The Making Of: Across the Country

Go behind the scenes of Cooking Channel's recipe collection of America's best state dishes and read about the recipe development process and photo shoot.

The 8 Best Places to Eat on the Road in the Country

As a truck driver, BigCat Trucker experiences some of the best cuisine this country has to offer. Here are his top restaurant picks you just have to experience.

Food Photography and Styling for 50 State Dishes

We sat down with photographer Tara Donne to walk us through how she photographed and styled the recipes for Across the Country on Cooking Channel.

A Chef's Perspective on Preparing America's State Dishes

Cooking Channel interviews one of our chefs to tell us about the recipe development and cross-testing process for our project, Across the Country.

Eat Your Way Across the Country with Summer Dishes from Every State

Get recipes for the best state dishes from across the country including lobster rolls from Maine, Key Lime Pie from Florida, Texas brisket and more.

On TV

A Fuss-Free Feast!

Top Thanksgiving Tips 8 Videos

Follow these simple strategies to create a stellar spread without the stress.

So Much Pretty Food Here