Top 5 Baltimore Originals | The Daily Dish

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Top 5 Baltimore Originals

1 Comment | Written on September 11, 2014 at 5:00 am , by

Last weekend I escaped from New York City and enjoyed a weekend getaway to Baltimore, Maryland.  Little did I know Baltimore was such a foodie destination!   Of course, I knew the weekend would involve lots of amazing seafood, but I had no idea how many snacks and treats are Baltimore originals.

Keep reading for a taste of Baltimore…

1)  Utz Potato Chips and Pretzels

Utz Quality foods began in 1921 when William and Salie Utz began making potato chips out of their home in Hahanover, PA.  Salie cooked the chips and Bill delivered them to local groceries and farmer’s markets in the Hanover and Baltimore areas.  To this day you see Utz snacks sold and served all over Baltimore.

For a local treat, try “The Crab Chip” – potato chips coated in their version of Old Bay seasoning!

2)  Berger Cookies

Before I left for the weekend, everyone told me I had to try Berger Cookies while I was in Baltimore.  I stopped by a Harris Teeter grocery store and there the were, right in the bakery section.

These iconic treats are a shortbread cookie with a thick layer of hand-dipped chocolate fudge frosting on top.  You can tell each one is handmade, because every cookie is different.  The Berger Cookie recipe was brought to America from Germany by George and Henry Berger in 1835. Henry owned a bakery in East Baltimore which was later run by his son Henry. While the younger Henry took over his father’s bakery, his two brothers, George and Otto, opened their own bakeries. Around 1900 Otto died, then George and Henry combined the bakeries to create ‘Bergers’.

Today Berger Cookies are still handmade in a small factory in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of Baltimore.

3)  Goetze’s Caramel Creams (a.k.a “Bulls Eyes”)

I was thrilled to learn that my favorite “Bulls Eyes” candies were another Baltimore original!   My grandma and I share a love for these cream filled chewy caramels.  We make sure to put a few in her Christmas stocking every year!

Goetze’s is a family owned company located in downtown Baltimore.  It was founded in 1895, and is now in its 5th generation of operations.  It began as the Baltimore Chewing Gum Company, but developed into a caramel company in the early 1900’s.  The Goetze’s family only uses the finest quality ingredients.

4)  Old Bay Seasoning

Old Bay Seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices that is produced in Chesapeake Bay.  It was developed by German immigrant Gustav Brunn back in 1939.  At that time, crabs were so plentiful that bars in Baltimore offered them free!  Seasonings like Old Bay were created to encourage patrons to purchase more beverages.  Quite a good marketing tactic, if you ask me.  I enjoyed sipping a local beer, Heavy Seas Loose Cannon IPA, while eating my Old Bay coated Maryland crabs, featured above!

5)  The Star-Spangled Banner

The final Baltimore original I wanted to talk about today isn’t a food, but a slice of American history.  The 1814 battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star-Spangled Banner took place in Baltimore Harbor at Fort McHenry.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of our national anthem and over the next week Baltimore welcomes everyone to come celebrate!  From September 10th-16th they are expecting well over 1 million visitors to the city.  Read all about the festivities here:  Of course, you will be well-fed while you are in town!

As you can see, right now is the perfect time to visit Baltimore.  While in town, I highly recommend staying at the Scarborough Fair Bed and Breakfast, right in the heart of the historic Federal Hill neighborhood.  Come back tomorrow to hear all about my experience in this unique and outstanding property.

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