If you’re the kind of nerd that loves history AND cookouts, this 4th of July party has got you written all over it.
VIRGINIA — FROM THE MOUNTAINS TO THE SEA BURGER
You don’t need a recipe for the dish representing the first (and best!) colony. Just close your eyes and imagine an all-beef burger topped with Milton’s Local bacon, sliced Hanover tomato, and fried Rappahannock River oysters, plus a slick of good old Duke’s mayonnaise. Pledge allegiance to this burger.
MASSACHUSETTS — BEANTOWN BEAN DIP
Who’s a wicked big fan of bean dip? YOU AHHRR! Trust me Donnie, you’re gonna freakin’ love this dip.
NEW HAMPSHIRE — PRIMARY (APPLE) PIE
New Hampshire is integral to our electoral system but less of a star in the culinary world. We’re dodging a “boiled dinner” bullet and giving New Hampshire apple pie. They do get first pick, after all.
NEW JERSEY — PORK ROLL BÁNH MÌ
It’s a modern miracle that we can now buy Taylor Ham, aka “Pork Roll” in our southern Krogers; this was not always the case. Previously, displaced Yankees were forced to order their beloved ham products from the Internet. But it’s finally here, and it’s just as good as they said it would be. It also happens to have exactly the right balance of salty-hammy-slightly-sweet flavor to work beautifully in bánh mì. Just take this easy-to-follow recipe and upgrade your ham with pork roll for a new New Jersey classic.
NEW YORK — HOT DOGS (NATHAN’S FAMOUS AND/OR GRAY’S PAPAYA)
From a humble Coney Island hot dog stand to a national hot dog empire, the Nathan’s Famous story IS the American dream in a snappy all-beef casing. Created by a Polish immigrant in 1916, Nathan’s Famous hot dogs are now sold in over 40,000 retail locations across the country, and the original Coney Island hot dog1 stand is still open.
For a classic Nathan’s dog, top your grilled wiener with warm sauerkraut, spicy brown mustard, and griddled onions. For the Gray’s Papaya version, swap out the griddled onions for this zesty onion sauce.
MARYLAND — GRILLED CRAB CAKES WITH OLD BAY AIOLI
Old Bay Seasoning was developed in Maryland 1939 to spice up crabs and sell more drinks, and it’s enjoyed a devoted following ever since. Its creator, Gustav Brunn, escaped Nazi Germany and ended up in Baltimore in 1938, so we can thank freedom and democracy for the best spice blend to ever season a crustacean. THANK YOU, FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY!!!
RHODE ISLAND — FROZEN LEMONADE
Rhode Island’s lemonade game is surprisingly strong for a state that doesn’t even get that hot. Rhode Island frozen lemonade, like the famous Del’s, is more of a granita than an ‘ade, but don’t bother with a spoon; just squeeze the cup into your upturned mouth until the entire slush of lemonade plops on your face at once, LIKE AN AMERICAN.
BOOZY UPGRADE: Turn your frozen lemonade into a Liberty Lemonade with the addition of Rhode Island-made Sons of Liberty Whiskey.
CONNECTICUT — APIZZA ON THE GRILL WITH MOOTZ
Connecticuters have their own language when it comes to things like pizza. New Haven, the state’s second-largest city, has some of the world’s finest pies, but you’ll need to know how to order it–even how to say it–if you want to get it. They call theirs “apizza,” and mozzarella or “mootz” is considered a topping, not a standard ingredient, so you’ll need to order it too.
Apizza is made in the Neopolitan style, which means the center crust is slightly chewy and on the thinner side, with a crispy, near-charred crust perimeter. You can achieve something similar in flavor by grilling your pizzas. Let Simply Recipes show you how.
DELAWARE — ONE BOURBON, ONE SHOT, AND ONE (DOGFISH HEAD) BEER
You know what they say about Delaware…yeah, me neither. But I do know that George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers are totally from Delaware, and their blues/classic rock style makes them AMERICAN TO THE BONE. As for the beer, Dogfish Head has been made in Rehoboth Beach area since 1995. Try the new Festina Peche, a Berliner Weisse; it should pair well with Georgia’s peach ice cream.
NORTH CAROLINA — UTZ’S CAROLINA BBQ CHIPS
Like a beacon in a Tarheelblue bag, Utz’s Carolina BBQ chips represent the blessed union of BBQ potato chips and Salt and Vinegar potato chips. They’re like the Blue Ivy Carter of potato chips. Do not omit them from your cookout.
SOUTH CAROLINA — FROGMORE STEW
Neither a stew nor made with frogs: Discuss.
Frogmore Stew–named after its place of origin, Frogmore (now Beaufort), South Carolina–is also known as a low country boil. This big pot of shrimp, crab, potatoes, corn, and sausage is meant to be eaten with friends and by hand. There’s nothing fussy about a bawl. The fact that this recipe refers to a “lazy simmer” two separate times should give you some indication about the spirit in which Frogmore Stew is meant to be enjoyed.
PENNSYLVANIA — HERSHEY’S/TWIZZLER’S FIREWORKS CUPCAKES
The 4th of July is the best of all possible holidays because it’s like Jerry Bruckheimer’s version of what a holiday should be: There are clearly defined roles of good and evil, and at the end, everything blows up. Celebrate the blow-up-iness of Independence Day2 with these cupcakes, which evoke explosive vibes with the help of Twizzlers.
GEORGIA — PEACH ICE CREAM
Who’s got peaches? Georgia’s got peaches. But lucky for you, Virginia’s also got peaches in abundance right now, so get yourself to the market and then make Virginia Willis’s perfect summer ice cream.
Photo by: wallyg