You might be shocked to learn that Rhode Island not only is not actually an island, but that there are really great, unique foods that originate from the smallest state. Some of you might not even remember that Rhode Island actually is a state, even some New Englanders have trouble with that. Being from a town in Massachusetts on the border of Rhode Island, I’m what you might call an expert on the subject of Rhode Island Food. Regardless, Little Rhody features some of my absolute favorites in the entire world, and I don’t think that is just because I’m from here. If you’re looking for something new, you should absolutely give some of these recipes a try and see for yourself.
Rhode Island Hot Weiners (Terrible Name, Awesome Food)
You need to try these! They may not seem all that special but they are my absolute favorite way to enjoy a hot dog. Now truth be told you probably won’t find the correct hot dogs (actually referred to as weiners) but you can substitute with basically any kind of hot dog (smaller are better). They are topped with a specially seasoned meat sauce that is divine, as well as mustard and onions, if you get them “all the way (which you should). This recipe here (Credit Taste of Home) will give you as close to the real thing as you can get without making the trip.
Milk from the Coffee
Coffee Milk is the official state drink of Rhode Island and if you ask for it anywhere outside of southern New England people will look at you like you have 3 heads. It doesn’t really taste like coffee at all, I don’t know how to describe the taste, it’s similar to chocolate milk but milder. Only way to find out is to try it yourself. You can buy the famous Autocrat syrup on Amazon.
Let Me Introduce You to Johnny Cakes
You have tried pancakes I assume, and if you haven’t I’m very sorry that you lived under a rock for so long, it must have been really difficult. Johnny Cakes are kind of like if pancakes and cornbread had a baby. Super easy to make and super delicious, a very dangerous combo. Try this recipe (Credit Daring Gourmet) for your next breakfast and you will thank me. I’ll be sitting here waiting for the thank you message.
Clam Cakes are Not Quite like Pancakes
Guess what? There is a lot of sea food in the Ocean State, I know shocking right? Clam Cakes are fried balls of dough that happen to have some clams mixed in. While that maybe doesn’t sound good, they are really delicious, and a great snack to grab near the beach. They are crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, with just a hint of a seafoody taste. Want to try these? Here is a great recipe (Credit Justapinch) to check out.
Not the Pillsbury Doughboy
These are Doughboys (Credit Angiesopenrecipebox), and they are very similar to fried dough and funnel cakes. In fact they are exactly like them. They are very tasty slabs of fried, sugary, delicious dough. If you like fried dough or things that taste awesome, you will probably like them. The only slightly unique thing here is that they are usually served in smaller pieces, mini fried dough if you will. Something about the smaller serving size makes them even more enjoyable to me and hopefully you too.
Stuffies are as Rhode Island as it gets
In the grand tradition of New Englanders adding “ies” to everything, I bring to you stuffies – aka stuffed Quahogs (yes it’s not just a town from the show Family Guy). These are the shells of the large clams known as Quahogs, and they filled with a stuffing mixture that includes the meat of said clams. If you love seafood you need to try these (Credit Justapinch), hopefully you can get some quahog shells from whereever it is you might be.
Del’s Frozen Lemonade
Whatever you do, DO NOT call this an Italian Ice. This is a whole different thing. In fact it’s a much better thing. Would you rather eat a solid as a rock block of lemon flavored ice, or would you like a soft slushy, amazing concoction with actual bits of lemon in it? This is not a difficult choice. If you can, go out and get one now, if not order the mix for home. You will not regret this! You have my 100% guarantee!
Calamari the Rhode Island Way
This one you might have had before. I feel like out of all our Rhode Island specialties, this one has traveled the furthest outside the homeland. If you ask me, this is the absolute best way to eat calamari, it has a little hint of spice, a little sweetness, and is perfectly crispy. If you don’t like this you probably just don’t like calamari. In the mood for the crispy, sweet, spicy deliciousness? Then this is the recipe (Credit Seasaltcravings) for you.
Awful Big Awful Good
Ask anyone from Rhode Island and they will tell you the best milkshake (or Cabinet if you are a hardcore Rhode Islander) is an Awful Awful from Newport Creamery. It’s so creamy and smooth, with a reasonable selection of flavors that is not overwhelming. The recipe is deceptively simple, but there is more to it than that. There is something extra special in the way this milkshake is made. If you would like to know more check out this article about the the Awful Awful from Newenglandliving.com.
The Best of the Best – Allie’s Donuts
Sadly you have to go to Rhode Island to get these, but I couldn’t help but mention my favorite donut in the entire world! This is not hyperbole. If you are anywhere nearby you NEED to try these. They aren’t flashy, they are simple donuts, but they are amazing. They are the perfect texture and the frosting isn’t overly sweet. The glazed donuts are just perfection. The best thing of all is they make special donut cakes which are a regular at family events around here. If I could award Michelin stars I would award Allie’s donuts one (there is probably a reason I’m not allowed to do that). Here is a link to their instagram if you want to check them out.
Are you hungry for Rhode Island Food Yet?
You should be, I mean I’m hungry just writing this. Rhode Island food is a hidden treasure, you owe yourself to give the food of Little Rhody a try. Just because it’s the smallest state doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a lot to offer. Give a few recipes a try and let us know what you think!