Similar to our unusual Maryland facts, we’ve found more unusual things specific to Maryland! This time, it’s all food related (no, we aren’t including crabs).
Smith Island Cake
Smith Island is a small island off the coast of Maryland that is home to fewer than 200 residents. These 200 residents carry on the name and legacy of the Smith Island Cake.
This cake is eight to 12 layers of yellow dough, with chocolate icing in between each layer and covering it. Mary Ada Marshall is known as the Smith Island Cake Lady, making up to 10 of these chocolatey sins every day.
In 2008, Maryland declared this dessert it’s official state dessert. Many Maryland and Delaware bakeries sell Smith Island Cakes, by the slice or by the whole cake. Or you could go to Smith Island and get it straight from Mary Ada Marshall!
The cookie to end all cookies. A Berger cookie is a shortbread cookie with a thick layer of fudge-like, sweet chocolate on top.
The history of this cookie started all the way back in 1835 when Henry Berger and his sons immigrated from Germany. They sold the cookies in the public markets, and they’re still selling them today.
They are available to buy in stores in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas, or you can buy them online here.
Now, this one might need a bit of explaining. There is no exact origin for the lemon stick, only a mention of it in an essay in 1911. 1911 is a significant year because it was the first year of FlowerMart, which is now known for it’s flowers and lemon sticks. But we still don’t know exactly where or why lemon sticks came in to existence.
All a lemon stick is, is half a lemon with a peppermint stick stuck in it. How people normally eat it is, they start sucking on the peppermint stick. Because peppermint sticks are so porous, the lemon juice travels up and in to your mouth, combining the two very distinct flavors.
It’s important to emphasize that you need a peppermint stick to complete this snack and not a candy cane. This is because peppermint sticks are more porous than candy canes, making it a better “straw.”
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Smearcase is derived from the German schmierkäse, which means “to smear cheese.” In the 19th century, it meant “cottage cheese” to American’s. To most American’s, it still does, but to Baltimorean’s, it’s a rare, custard-y cheesecake.
Bakers prepare yeasted crust and then add the custardy filling. After baking, they sprinkle cinnamon on top for that extra flare. Typical cheesecakes have a lighter and less sugary crust, which is why a smearcase and cheesecake are so different.
Small Foods Party
In 2006, a group of artists began to compete over who could make the smallest, best appetizer at a holiday party. Over time, the food shrunk and the ideas grew, and now it’s an annual competition that brings in over 500 people. They have various awards that people can win, as well as prizes, including trophies!
Now, we get it, it’s not an actual food, but this competition started in Baltimore and it’s still going. The annual party just happened, but there’s always next year!
Food is good, but Maryland food is better.
And this just proves it.