When it comes to food, we Rhode Islanders are a quirky bunch.
We love our milkshakes made with ice cream, but we call them cabinets (and we’re partial to coffee cabinets, made with coffee ice cream and coffee syrup). Since 1993, we’ve had an official state drink: coffee milk. Those who don’t drink coffee milk guzzle iced coffee, even in the middle of winter.
We fill our summers with stuffies (stuffed clams made with ashtray-size quahogs, which we pronounce co-hogs) and clam cakes (not cake at all) and doughboys (pillows of fried pizza dough dusted with sugar).
We take pride in our johnnycakes (corn meal pancakes), served at every May Breakfast, made one way east of Providence, and another way west of the city. We can’t agree on the recipe, or on the spelling. Is it johnnycake, or jonnycake?
We brag about our New York System hot weiners, even though we’re not actually part of New York, and we eat our pizza in strips.
Yes, we have our quirks, but we Rhode Islanders take food seriously, and we’re as proud of the products made by local artisans, farmers, and family businesses as we are of our own family food traditions.
That’s what spurred us, two food and recipe bloggers living in opposite ends of Rhode Island, to write this book: RHODE ISLAND RECIPES, featuring creative, healthy cooking with iconic local foods, the sauces, condiments and mixes we love so much that we stock them in our own pantries.
You’ll find new recipes for packaged and fresh products made in every corner of Rhode Island, including maple syrup from the north woods (Lydia’s neighborhood), all-natural coffee syrup from Jen’s coastal neighborhood, honey and beer from Newport, pizza crusts and cheese from Providence.
If you live here, please support these local businesses. Buy the products made here, and cook real food with them. You can find everything in local supermarkets, gourmet shops, and at many of the farmer’s markets around the state.
If you’re visiting our state, please bring these wonderful products home as gifts, or for your own kitchen, or order online. We have great recipes that guarantee your souvenir won’t languish in the back of anyone’s pantry cupboard.
Now, let’s get cooking!
Lydia and Jen
Lydia Walshin (The Perfect Pantry) and Jennifer Leal (Savor the Thyme)
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