Maine is so much more than Lighthouses and Stephen King* and Martha Stewart’s Summer Home. Here are five things that you probably didn’t know came from The Pine Tree State.
1. The Microwave. Percy Spencer, from Howland, Maine invented the Microwave, back in the 1940s. As a child of the 80s, I have a special fondness for the microwave, which was my Mother’s preferred method of cooking from ‘83 – ’86. Did you know you can cook a Thanksgiving turkey in a microwave. You can. Trust me.
2. Earmuffs. Okay, if you are at all familiar with Farmington then, of course, you know about Chester Greenwood and his Earmuffs. Our local elementary school devotes pretty much the entire second-grade curriculum to learning about earmuffs.** You’d have to live under a rock in Franklin County, not to know that one of the greatest fashion trends of the 19th Century started right here in Farmington, Maine. But for the rest of you people From Away, now you know.
3. Bakewell Cream. Like baking soda, but so much more sexy. Created as an alternative to cream of tartar during WWII, Bakewell Cream promises “lighter, flakier biscuit…” like I said, sexy. Check it out.
4. Whoopie Pies. Pennsylvania tried to declare the whoopie pie as their idea (they call them Gobs in PA, as if) but Maine will always claim whoopie pies as their own. Personally, I’m not much of fan – too much frosting filling, but they are definitely a Maine food icon.
5. Italians. The sandwich, not the people. Also known as submarines, these sandwiches feature the perfect mix of meat, cheese, and fresh vegetables, with oil, salt and pepper (some people put mayo on theirs, but that’s just wrong). When I was growing up these were a go-to lunch option for beach days at Popham. The best Italians still come from local Mom & Pop convenience stores, made to order. Hold the tomatoes, please.
What’s your favorite Maine thing?