Rhode Island is the smallest state in the Union, but don't let size fool you! Little Rhody is a state full of surprises and only-in-Rhode-Island quirks. Best known is the variety of food, including dishes you can only find in Rhode Island even for being so small! As we close out Independence Day week, it seemed fitting to stick with an American theme highlighting one of the nation's greatest examples of what makes the USA so uniquely independent.
The capital of Rhode Island is Providence, aptly named by founder Roger Williams in 1636 after his flight from Massachusetts due to religious persecution. After the colonies were founded by people escaping religious intolerance in England, Puritanical systems of governance did not sit well with individuals like Roger Williams who demanded true freedom. The new colony built on land purchased from the Narragansett Indians became Williams' dream of a place practicing religious tolerance and separation of church and state. Even with its small footprint, Rhode Island boasts over 400 miles of coastline due to its nearly peninsula shape with several harbors and rocky cliffs overlooking the Atlantic. Today, Rhode Island is affectionately known as Little Rhody, the Ocean State.
Statue of Roger Williams overlooking Providence
With all that shoreline, Rhode Island was a major shipping hub and the leading colony of the Industrial Revolution with large-scale textile mills. In the Gilded Age, wealthy families such as the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts flocked to Newport to build lavish mansions overlooking the water, creating what is now a huge draw for tourists traversing the 3.5 mile path along the coast known as the Cliff Walk. Providence is home to Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and Narragansett Town Beach is easily recognizable by its dramatic architectural landmark, The Towers. From Providence to Newport, one thing that can always be found is great food! With its long history of being home to a diverse population of immigrants seeking socio-political freedoms, Rhode Island cuisine is especially unique with many quintessential dishes found nowhere else! (Except here at Creative Tastings of course!)
The Towers, Narragansett RI
So why Rhode Island? Well, if you attended our New England dinner you had a taste of some classic favorites from the Northeast - but this week I wanted to focus it down to just Rhode Island, the place I grew up! Comfort food takes on a whole new meaning when you try these only-in-Rhode Island classics!
Wilmington Wine's Creative Tastings
"Only in Rhode Island"
July 7/8, 2023
Quahogs stuffed and baked
Rhode Island Clam Chowder
Clear broth clam chowder (not New England clam chowder!)
American Chop Suey
Macaroni and meat sauce seasoned with hot Weiner spice mix
Hot dogs topped with meat sauce blended with a mix of spices and chopped onions
Coffee milk blended with coffee ice cream