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From Moxie to Needhams, Watch Curious Local Specialties Confuse the Nation

Welcome to Maine, the way food should be?

Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

The official Maine state soft drink predates Coca-Cola. This fun fact is just one of many in a recent Lucky Peach piece called "Got Moxie?" The article traces the origins of the adjective-spawning soft drink created by Mainer Dr. Augustin Thompson (but first produced in Massachusetts and now in New Hampshire). Perhaps more significantly, it examines the New England Moxie Congress, "a hundreds-strong band of zealots who are fervently dedicated to" the unusual soda with "an astringent, challenging, and face-scrunching rush."

If you haven't shared a taste of Moxie with any visitors lately but still want to see those scrunched faces, watch the Maine Food Taste Test, the latest in a playful series about regional specialties. From the YouTube description: "Sure, it takes a real Mainer to embrace Moxie's moxie, but there's something seriously wrong if you spurn perfectly good potato candies." Alongside needhams (the name for those "potato candies") and Moxie, the Californians in the video are subjected to corn chowder, baked beans, and lobster rolls, with varying degrees of success.

What other local specialties have you had trouble introducing to the wider world?