Tag Archives: New England

Food: Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin' Donuts is headquartered in New England. Krispy Kreme calls North Carolina home. Is the rivalry between the two a matter of taste, or of cultures? Uploaded by free.pages.at.

Let the record show that I selected my hometown brand, Krispy Kreme, for this list back on May 15, 2009. And that there’s nothing better in the entire donut universe than a warm original Krispy Kreme glazed donut. That being established, however, it’s undeniable that some people prefer Dunkin’ Donuts. And that DD makes some wonderful varieties – my favorite by far is Boston cream filled. And that if one were in front of me now, I would have eaten it before I finished typing this sentence.

Uploaded by amomsimpression.com.

Dunkin’ Donuts originated in Quincy, Massachusetts, and is still headquartered in that state. One of the things that distinguishes the company from its competitors is the baked goods it offers beyond donuts. It offers a full line of breakfast sandwiches, and is especially recognized for the quality of its coffee. Many people who aren’t “donut people” will still go to the store for coffee. DD brand coffee is also sold in supermarkets.

Dunkin’ Donuts also owns Baskin-Robbins, which explains why you often see c0-branded stores. You can visit any of its 6,400 or so stores in the U.S., and enjoy any of its dozens of varieties of donuts.

(But leave some Boston cream-filled for me, please.)

Advertisements

Travel: Stowe, Vermont

 

Stowe gets an average of 333 inches of natural snow each year. But it's become a true four-seasons resort, and is especially gorgeous in the fall. Uploaded by worldtravelattractions.com.

Sometimes you have to chuckle at the writers on Wikipedia. Take this entry about one of the premier ski destinations in New England: “Tourism is a significant industry.” Really, Wikipedia?

Uploaded by grandslamtennistours.com.

The resort’s main attraction is Mount Mansfield, which at 4,393 feet is the tallest in Vermont. The first ski trails were cut by the CCC during the Great Depression, and as no one ever said, “If you cut it down, they will come.” They come for the 116 runs and the 333 inches average of annual snowfall.

But Stowe, like most full-service resorts these days, offers a lot more than skiing. First there’s the beauty of this quintessential Vermont small town. There’s shopping, more fine restaurants than anywhere in New England outside of Boston and Providence, year-round outdoor sports like fishing and kayaking, and of course the gorgeous New England autumn (Great American Things, October 19, 2009). It’s a year-round destination for anyone, but a winter paradise for those who love going down the side of a mountain on two sticks.

Sports: The Boston Marathon

 

The Boston Marathon isn't for beginners. In fact, the qualification standards are strict, and participation is limited. Uploaded by vagabondish.com.

When Patriots Day approaches (that’s the third Monday in April, for those of you non-Massachusettians. Massachusetters. Bay Staters. Whatever) all eyes in New England turn toward Boston and the running of the Boston Marathon. It’s America’s oldest marathon, dating back to 1897, having reportedly been influenced by the marathon at the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896.

Uploaded by cdn.picapp.com.

Unlike some marathons, not everyone is eligible to participate at Boston. You have to qualify based on completion time in another sanctioned marathon. Starting in 2013, that time would range from 03:05:00 for a male under 35 up to 05:25:00 for a female over 80. And because so many people want to run this marathon, the registration time is extremely short for all but the most experienced runners. You have to know when registration is open and get your name in the field quickly.

Approximately a half million people line the course as the marathon makes its way through eight cities and towns, with the finish line in downtown Boston’s Copley Square. The Boston Red Sox traditionally play a game at 11:00 in the morning on race day, and the crowd lingers following the game to cheer runners in the race’s last mile.

 

 

Poet: Robert Frost

 

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. But I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep. Uploaded by life.com.

Who’s the greatest American poet? Experts might nominate Longfellow … Dickinson … Whitman … Cummings. I’d no doubt go with T.S. Eliot, and his remarkable mastery of both symbolism and language (Say this aloud: “Combing the white hair of the waves blown back /when the wind blows the water white and black.”) except that he left the good old U.S. of A. and became a citizen of England.

Uploaded by pbworks.com.

Which doesn’t mean that Frost merits only first runner-up. Although born in San Francisco, he lived most of his life in New England, and his language reflected the simple things he treasured. As one biographer wrote, “With his down-to-earth approach to his subjects, readers found it is easy to follow the poet into deeper truths, without being burdened with pedantry.”

Is there a more resolute sadness than Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening? Or a better treatise on destiny than The Road Not Taken? Robert Frost spoke for himself, but his words expressed the hopes, dreams, and fears of his countrymen. In my opinion, the Greatest American Poet.

(Originally posted April 27, 2009)

Food: Clam Chowder

 

Most Americans know about New England Clam Chowder (with cream) and Manhattan Clam Chowder (with tomatoes), but there's also Rhode Island style, made with a clear broth. Uploaded by wikimedia.org.

Let’s not fight the battle of clam chowders here. Most Americans outside of New England know of basically two variations on this dish – New England style (made with milk or cream) and Manhattan style (with tomatoes). I like them both, though they’re very different flavors.

New England style. Uploaded by trufflemutt.com.

But in researching this post I find that there’s a third kind of clam chowder, call it Rhode Island style. It’s made with a clear broth. One source said that tourists prefer the white chowder, while locals choose the clear.

Many of the ingredients of clam chowder remain the same, regardless of color. Clams, of course; usually diced potatoes and onions; butter; corn and celery, sometimes; and occasionally a little salt pork or bacon for flavor.

 

Rhode Island style. Uploaded by foodgps.com.

Clam chowder is a hearty beginning to any seafood dinner, or can be a main course by itself. But let’s agree on one thing together, right now. It’s pronounced the New England way. Not “chow-der,” but “chow-dah.” It’s also more fun to say it that way.

 

Travel: Vermont Route 100

 

Vermont Route 100 goes north-south from the state's border with Canada to its border with Massachusetts. You can see fall foliage, great ski resorts, and Ben and Jerry's factory. Uploaded by yankeefoliage.com.

 

Route 100 in Vermont is one of America’s most scenic highways. Especially during autumn, when the maples are bursting into bright shades of orange and gold.

 

Uploaded by media1.px.yelpcdn.com.

 

The highway runs north and south, all the way from the Canadian border down to the Massachusetts border. It winds through the mountains, offering plenty of breathtaking vistas along the way. If the weather is cold enough, you can stop and ski at a number of New England’s best resorts, including Stowe, Killington, and Sugarbush. Or you can visit the Vermont Country Store in Weston, or take a tour of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory in Waterbury.

You can drive its entire 216-mile length in one day. But with all there is to see and do along the way, why would you?

 

Uploaded by yankeefoliage.com.

 

 

Uploaded by danandsally.com.

 

 

Uploaded by innatclearwaterpond.com.

 

 

Uploaded by startours.com.

 

Food: Clam Box of Ipswich

Yes, that is "CLAM BOX" spelled in flowers out front. Photo courtesy of Roadfood.com.

Yes, that is "CLAM BOX" spelled in flowers out front. Photo courtesy of Roadfood.com.

It is shaped like a clam box. As you can imagine, it’s become a landmark in Ipswich, Massachusetts, a quaint town about 30 miles north of Boston. Built over 70 years ago, the Clam Box draws folks from all over the region for its fried feasts, featuring local clams, scallops, and shrimp.

Mmm, fried seafood. Photo uploaded on Flickr by EdKopp4.

Mmm, fried seafood. Photo uploaded on Flickr by EdKopp4.

But don’t take my word for it. (Actually, you couldn’t, because my personal travels haven’t led me to Ipswich thus far.) Here’s what the undeniable expert in such matters, Roadfood.com, has to say: “The trapezoidal Clam Box is the place to eat the best fried clams on the North Shore; and since the North Shore is home of the best fried clams anywhere, these are the best fried clams in the universe. Get them piled high on a platter along with French fries and onion rings. You’ll get a little tartar sauce for dipping and some wonderful sweet cole slaw.

But the truly wonderful thing about Clam Box fried clams is how greaseless they seem. They are luscious and crunchy, no doubt about that; but you’ll have no oily fingers after plowing through a plate. Overall: Worth planning a day around.”

Friend and New Englander LysaC recommended the Clam Shack as a Great American Thing. In fact, she wanted all of New England to be considered, and I promise it will. Just not all at once. Patience, Lysa, patience!

Let Coldwell Banker (sorry, the Clam Box spends its time cooking, not making video) show you the town of Ipswich, with a brief visit to the Clam Box.

The Arts: Robert Frost

uploaded by www2.lib.virginia.edu

uploaded by www2.lib.virginia.edu

Who’s the greatest American poet? Experts might nominate Longfellow … Dickinson … Whitman … Cummings. I’d no doubt go with T.S. Eliot, and his remarkable mastery of both symbolism and language (Say this aloud: “Combing the white hair of the waves blown back /when the wind blows the water white and black.”) except that he left the good old U.S. of A. and became a citizen of England.

Which doesn’t mean that I’d choose Frost only as the first runner-up. Although born in San Francisco, he lived most of his life in New England, and his language reflected the simple things he treasured. As one biographer wrote, “With his down-to-earth approach to his subjects, readers found it is easy to follow the poet into deeper truths, without being burdened with pedantry.”

Is there a more resolute sadness than Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening? Or a better treatise on destiny than The Road Not Taken? Robert Frost spoke for himself, but his words expressed the hopes, dreams, and fears of his countrymen. In my opinion, the Greatest American Poet.