I did a double take while I was in the checkout line at Whole Foods today. There, nestled among the yoga and business magazines, was the May issue of Saveur with the teaser, "Baltimore’s favorite cookie." If you’re a native Baltimorean like me, you know immediately it has to be our local Berger cookie—and it is.
Inside the magazine, you’ll find a luscious photo of Berger cookies that will make you want to get your own box of fudge-frosted cookies very soon. The accompanying story is a first-person account of a New York woman who marries a Baltimore-born guy and learns that Berger cookies are as much a part of our culinary heritage as steamed crabs—and that if you live elsewhere, you have to have them mailed to you. The cookies just can’t be found in every grocery store around town like here.
It reminded me of the time I was working for a newspaper in Columbus, Ohio. After a trip home, I brought back Berger cookies and Old Bay-seasoned Utz potato chips (which you also can’t get outside our region) and took them to a news meeting. I could tell the Midwesterners were awed by my snack decadence, which they happily embraced. I think they’re still talking about it.
There are so many memories attached to our local foods whether you're a lifelong resident or a newbie. It makes it fun to be a Baltimorean.