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Boston Food Classics

Not for nothing did Boston become known as the home of the bean and the cod: simple Yankee specialties—many of them of English origin—and traditional seafood abound.

Boston baked beans are a thick, syrupy mixture of navy beans, salt pork, and molasses cooked for hours. They were originally made by Puritan women on Saturday, so that the leftovers could be eaten on Sunday without breaking the Sabbath by cooking.

You may also want to keep an eye out for Parker House rolls, yeast-bread dinner rolls first concocted at the Parker House Hotel in the 1870s.

Boston cream pie is an addictive simple yellow vanilla cake filled with a creamy custard and iced with chocolate frosting. Many traditional New England eateries (and some steak houses and hotel restaurants) serve a house version. Occasionally you'll find a modernized version, with some creative new element added at trendier restaurants.

The city's beer-drinking enthusiasm is older than the Declaration of Independence—which, incidentally, was signed by Samuel Adams, an instigator of the Boston Tea Party and the man whose name graces the bottles of the country's best-selling craft-brew beer.

Updated: 2014-04-16

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