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Jan 21, 2010 03:48 AM

Best cookbook to introduce me to Maryland/Mid-Atlantic cuisine?

I'm new to Maryland (PG County) from another region entirely, so I'm looking for a good cookbook or two to give me an introduction to traditional MD/Mid-Atlantic food. The most I've gathered so far is that crabs are big here. But beyond that, I'm lost. Any good suggestions?

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  1. Chesapeake Bay Cooking , by John Shields.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DrewBB

      That is the first book that came to my mind!
      Joeljkp, I have learned so much about this area by watching our local PBS station. Here is a sample you might like:

    2. James Beard's American Cooking is one of my bibles. Very old school, but Beard was, and still is, one of the greats. Recipes from all over the continental US, with Beard's commentary. You will find more than a few from the Mid-Atlantic region.

      1. Maryland's Way is quite an old cook-book ,but well worth seeking out .My parents had it way back when and it was a go to when-ever we wanted to make crab-cakes or deviled crab - A true classic

          1. The eastern shore of Maryland is a very unique place. It has a large amount of both waterman and farmers making fresh ingredients for cooking a part of everyday life there. My mother in law was from the town of Crisfield, MD which at one time was known as the crab capitol of the US. We have two old cookbooks that you should try to get copies of:

            1) "Grannie's Goodies from Somerset County"
            - contact the Activities Dept. at Tawes Nursing Home on Hall Hwy. in Crisfield, MD to see if a copy might still be available.

            2) "Taste and See"
            - contact the United Methodist Women of Asbury United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 209, Crisfield, MD. (you'll have to find the zip code for Crisfield)

            It might also be a fun road trip for you to drive down to Crisfield for a weekend. You might be able to find copies of local cookbooks at one of the shops while in town. There are waterfront condos for rent, a MD state park for camping, and good seafood restaurants to check out, There are also places to buy fresh seafood and soft-shell crabs. They have boat trips over to both Tangier Island and Smith Island if you really want to taste old MD eastern shore cooking in one of the family style restaurants on these islands. Welcome to the Mid-Atlantic.

            2 Replies
            1. re: foodjack

              The late Frances Kitching ran a guesthouse on Smith Island and would prepare dinners that always included her wonderful crabcakes and whatever else she felt like making that day. She published a cookbook which might still be available in that area.

              1. re: albinoni

                We've eaten at Ms. Crockett's family style restaurant on one of those islands, but I can't remember if it was Sith or Tangier. It was very interesting sharing a table with strangers, and serving ourselves family style from the food put on the table. No menu necessary!