Connecticut’s nickname is the “Nutmeg State”, though its nutmeg connections are about as misty as an autumn evening on the shore. You can, of course, buy the spice here, but for the sake of accuracy it would be far better to give the state a sobriquet that reveals its delectable ties to seafood, or sandwiches or even specialty pizzas.
Some say the hamburger was invented in a Connecticut, but whether or not you buy into the story you can at least bite into a burger made at the historic source, Louis Lunch in New Haven, served on toast, not buns. Subway, the sandwich shop, got its start in Bridgeport, while Pepperidge Farms, of cookie fame, hails from Norwalk, available at a grocery store near you.
Another American dietary staple has gotten a twist in New Haven: the pizza. Here, two versions merit attention, both the New Haven style (also known as “apizza”), topped with oregano, tomato sauce and a sprinkle of pecorino romano cheese, and the White Clam pie, which forgoes the tomato sauce in favor of olive oil, little-neck clams, oregano, garlic and grated cheese. Give the meal a local finish with a cream soda or ginger ale from Foxon Park, a company that also deserve a nod for their use of all natural ingredients.
Considering Connecticut’s coastal perch, it should come as no surprise to find that in addition to clams, the area has a good selection of assorted fresh “sea fruits”, from shad and bluefish to Blue Point oysters. Lobster rolls might be most readily associated with Maine, but here they get an update as a Connecticut lobster roll - warm chopped lobster with butter on a bun. I mean really, forget traditional hot dogs (though those are pretty good in these parts too).