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Apr 26, 2014 06:30 AM

Boston's most famous contribution to the food world?

[NOTE: We've moved this discussion from the thread at -- The Chowhound Team]

What would you say is Boston's most famous contribution to the food world? Other than clam chowder and Boston cream pie and parker house rolls? There's always Fluff, from Somerville.

We love Tenoch.

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    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Speaking of NECCO, they also produce Valentines' Day candy hearts. Junior Mints are also made in Boston.

    2. That's a great question. I have some personal favorites but honestly, don't know if they qualify as a full contribution to the food world. Steak Tips come to mind. The other thing that occurs to me is that Sam Adams Brewery, while they didn't invent micro-brewing or "craft beer" they certainly made it mainstream.

      9 Replies
      1. re: UnclePH

        A couple other entries would include stuffed baked clams, fried clams and baked schrod

        1. re: UnclePH

          I love all of those, as well as lobster rolls, clam chowder, etc. Good stuffed baked clams are amazing if the clams aren't overcooked into rubber.
          but I think most of the dishes are New England, not specifically Boston or Mass, while Necco wafters and fluff originated here. Coffee milk in Rhode Island? you could add baked beans in the New England way. Indian Pudding.

          I personally think Cheez whiz is a horrible affront to anyone who eats. I personally can't eat it, though I know many have a craving for it. But we can't call Philadelphia on cheez wiz given our Fluff. And they don't put cheez wiz on Philly steak sandwich, do they? And we don't put fluff on necco wafers, I hope!

          1. re: Madrid

            The Fig Newton also originated in Cambridge

            (but they decided not to call it the Fig Cambridge--I guess Fig Newton sounded classier)

            I do not think this exactly a contribution to world cuisine, but as long as we're bottom fishing with the Necco wafer (dustiest weirdest worst candy ever!)...

            1. re: femmevox

              ...except for the black ones. Those are alright.

              1. re: femmevox

                Don't forget the Sky Bar, IIRC also a Necco product. Four flavors: fudge, caramel, white and mystery.

              2. re: Madrid

                Haha! Ok, I have to admit that Cheez Whiz is, at best, a guilty pleasure, and I can't eat it on its own either, but it is the authentic way to eat a Philly Cheesesteak and I must confess...I really like Philly Cheesesteaks.

                1. re: Madrid

                  "And they don't put cheez wiz on Philly steak sandwich, do they?"

                  Oh yes they do! and it's glorious!! Go to Pat's King of Steaks, and order a 'wiz wit' (cheese wiz and onions), then load it up with the complimentary is pure bliss, the meat juice mixes with the cheese wiz and soaks into the bread and forms the one and only time I like my bread to get even remotely's sooooooooooooo good

                  1. re: devilham

                    word. I was born in S. Philadelphia (<- bullshit chowhound "what I have experienced provides me cred") there is no need to explain, as opposed to experience, this.

            2. I'd say there are our contributions to broader food culture, and then there are some local peculiarities that haven't spread much outside of the region, like the North Shore roast beef sandwich, jonnycakes, chow mein sandwiches, coffee milk, and the like.

              Necco wafers taste that way because they are made from bone meal and earwig honey.


              4 Replies
              1. re: MC Slim JB

                Emmett Watson, may he RIP, said it was hard to hold a nation whose contribution to cuisine appeared to be bangers and mash, kippers, and jello salad in high esteem. He was, of course, talking about GB.

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  <bone meal and earwig honey>

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    I think it's hard to draw a line between what is definitively "Boston" cuisine and what is "New England". With that in mind, Massachusetts is the home to the Mother of all food holidays, Thanksgiving. While our traditional Thanksgiving meal looks considerably different from the first one many of the food traditions of Thanksgiving hail from here: succotash, cranberry sauce, corn bread etc...

                  2. I'd say the chocolate chip cookie is a pretty great contribution to the food world. It was invented in Whitman, Mass.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: wandergirl

                      is that the toll house cookie? Wow, I didn't know that about Mass. Thanks.

                      1. re: Madrid

                        Yes, the toll house cookie. It's surprising that Mass doesn't take more credit for it and that it isn't more widely known. Here's a recent article from the Globe (hopefully the link will work):


                      2. "Most famous" or most noteworthy?