Of Favorite Foods, Fasting, and Faneuil Hall Ferries
Of Favorite Foods, Fasting, and Faneuil Hall Ferries
1. Apple Pie
The saying is “American as apple pie” for a reason: this sweet treat is a national institution. Forget anybody who will try to tell you pecan or key lime is better, because they are lying. The simple combination of sugar, buttery pastry and tart sliced apples produces a dessert so extraordinary people have devoted their entire lives to perfecting it. For a particularly excellent example, try the apple pie with added green chilies at the Pie-O-Neer, in Pie Town, New Mexico. Phone ahead and Kathy Knapp, the self-proclaimed “Pie Lady of Pie Town”, will save you a slice. See pieoneer.com.
Pie Town, New Mexico. Photo: Alamy
2. The Hamburger
Every single American will have a different idea about where to find the best hamburger in the country, ranging from fast food on the West Coast (In-N-Out Burger) to fine dining in New York (The Spotted Pig). But only one place is recognised by the Library of Congress as being the birthplace of hamburgers: New Haven, Connecticut. The year was 1900 and the establishment was Louis’ Lunch, run by one Louis Lassen. Today his great-grandson, Jeff Lassen, guides the ship, which still serves burgers made from five-meat blend and cooked in a century-old cast iron grill. See louislunch.com.
Everyone argues about where you’ll find the best burger in America.
3. Clam Chowder
It is basically illegal to visit Boston without trying New England clam chowder. The fragrant soup is sold everywhere, and it looks hideous, being white and lumpy. But one taste is all it takes to fall in love. Whoever decided to mix the quahog shellfish with tender potatoes, salted pork, heavy cream and herbs is a total genius. There are many ways to eat it, but you may as well go all out and get a bread bowl at the Atlantic Fish Co., where the chefs carve out a cavity in a fresh boule, pour in the heavenly juice, then put the top back on. Edible dinnerware. See atlanticfishco.com.
4. Bagel and Lox
Trying to narrow New York down to a single representative cuisine is a fool’s errand. A Nathan’s hot dog? Pastrami from Katz’s? A bad cup of diner coffee? Let’s pay respects to the city’s strong Jewish population and go with bagels and lox, a weekend staple on many Manhattan tables. Scientific studies have been conducted trying to work out why the New York bagel reigns supreme over all others; legend attributes it to the water. Whatever the cause, head to Russ and Daughters on the Lower East Side and tell them you want a selection of smoked fish, cream cheeses and, if you’re feeling flash, caviar. See russanddaughters.com.
Russ & Daughters, New York.
5. Deep-Dish Pizza
Pizza in Chicago looks and tastes different. The dish is deep, as the name suggests, meaning the crust rises high and allows for an artery-choking volume of cheese and tomato sauce. Unsurprisingly, they call it a “pie”. It is not for the lighthearted and should only be attempted while wearing dark clothes or a large napkin. For a particularly authentic meal, pair the pie with sugary soda. You might like to do this at an Uno Pizzeria, which claims to have invented the Italian American hybrid dish in 1943. See unos.com.
6. Drop Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
A biscuit in America means, essentially, a flaky scone often made with lard and buttermilk. In places such as Montana, where people burn energy working on horse ranches, biscuits are eaten at breakfast smothered in a thick white gravy that is studded with bits of sausage. It certainly wakes you up in the morning. For a fun twist, try a musical version in Austin, Texas, where Biscuits and Groovy offers varies with names like “the Aretha Franklin” (maple bacon, colby jack cheese). See iwantbiscuits.com.
7. Texas Barbecue
Australians might like to stoke up a barbie on the weekend, but Texans live and die by the practice. Mesquite smoked meats and tenderising rubs are common obsessions, and it is not uncommon to go to football games and find people have brought entire ranges to the parking lots that are worth upwards of five or even ten thousand dollars — a pastime called “tailgating”. For excellent brisket, head to the Dallas Farmers Market, stand in line for a bit, then find a seat at Pecan Lodge. Also good are the pork links, pulled pork, beef ribs and collard greens. Basically everything. See pecanlodge.com.
Texas barbecue, family style. Photo: Alamy
8. Hominy Grits
Southern food seems to exist in its own universe, and an entire list could be written just focusing on things like chicken and waffles (yes, you read that correctly). So perhaps it’s a good idea to just go with one of the basics: hominy grits, which is essentially corn milled into a rough powder and then boiled up with butter or bacon grease. It sounds rough but it’s actually sublime. For proof, try Blossom Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, which offers Geechie Boy grits with shrimp and andouille sausage. Pair it with brussels sprouts and sweetened ice tea. See blossomcharleston.com.
Hominy Grill restaurant, Charleston, South Carolina.
Los Angeles is a city with a taqueria on every street corner, basically. With so many Spanish-speakers it’s possible to find anything from greasy nachos on Venice Beach to exquisite Michoacan-style goat stews. For a good sampler, forget the chain stuff and try El Huarache Azteca, a tiny, no-fuss eatery in the neighbourhood of Highland Park, where menus run the full gamut from fajitas to mole verde and “flautas” — fried crisp taquitos stuffed with chicken. (Guacamole is a no-brainer.) Keep in mind that Mexican food and Tex-Mex are two very different things. See elhuaracheaztecala.com.
Chicken taquitos served on a bed of lettuce topped with sauce, salsa and cheese. Photo: Alamy
So “thanksgiving” isn’t technically a food, but it’s such a legendary date on the American culinary calendar (the fourth Thursday of each November), that it needs to be acknowledged. Officially, the holiday is about friends and family, but everybody knows it’s really about turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole and bellyaches. While the recipes, like most things on this list, seem custom-made to give you a heart-attack or diabetes, they’re all delicious, and taken together create one of the most ridiculous and enjoyable feasts you could ever attend. Many restaurants offer a menu, for the most special option is always a friend’s house, even if they burn the bird.
Which of those top 10 favorite foods? Why? What foods woudl you add ot the list? Which items would you remove from the list? Before you say “Grits!” let me just say when I tried that in Georgia, on a chilly morning, it was beyond delicious — as was their local Catfish which I ate the night before. Mmmmmm!
And is it just me or do all of these delicious types of food taste better when you eat them after fasting?
Incase you hadn’t heard, there are at least 8 science-backed health benefits to fasting:
1. Promotes Blood Sugar Control by Reducing Insulin Resistance
2. Promotes Better Health by Fighting Inflammation
3. May Enhance Heart Health by Improving Blood Pressure, Triglycerides and Cholesterol Levels
4. May Boost Brain Function and Prevent Neurodegenerative Disorders
5. Aids Weight Loss by Limiting Calorie Intake and Boosting Metabolism
6. Increases Growth Hormone Secretion, Which Is Vital for Growth, Metabolism, Weight Loss and Muscle Strength
7. Could Delay Aging and Extend Longevity
8. May Aid in Cancer Prevention and Increase the Effectiveness of Chemotherapy
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, a few rules:
- Safety first.
2. (see meme)
3. (see next meme which is actually an understatement of how I feel after nine hours of fasting)
Now for the pièce de résistance —
If you find yourself with your friends, feasting on or fasting from your top ten favorite foods, while fishing near the fantastic Faneuil Hall, fretting about finding a ferry, have no fear!
The Ferry Fair Finder by MBTA will help: https://www.mbta.com/fares/ferry
(Now whether that’s easier than getting an Uber, Lyft, Via, or other transportation, I leave up to you.)
After letting the fear recede, remember the benefits of fasting (above).
Next, at the end of your fast, enjoy the beautiful history, stores, and of course, the FOOD at Faneuil Hall.
What’s the connection of these favorite foods, fasting, and Faneuil Hall?
THE BOTTOM LINE:
HOMEMAIDE helps you sell your style and buy the things that make you smile, seamlessly.
If you’re looking at your friends updates on social media and you see one of them was fasting (for spiritual reasons, or for political reasons — like a hunger strike), you could use Homemaide to donate to their cause.
You could also use Homemaide to purchase and have delivered to their place one of their favorite foods.
If that food was prepared by another one of your friends, that person would also earn a commission from Homemaide!
Any item you come across while riding a ferry or shopping for fairies at Faneuil Hall — all you have to do is upload a picture or paused video screenshot of that ferry/fairy to your existing social media sites and Homemaide will send you a commission every time your friends purchase that item!
If they bought real estate near the body of water you crossed on the fairy or rented an Airbnb place near Faneuil Hall — YOU’d earn a commission off of that purchase. If they bought any item from the pictures you uploaded, you’d earn money. That’s the magic of Homemaide.