Which came first: the boardwalk or the greasy-but-great food? It's an impossible question to answer, but one thing is for sure-from East to West, boardwalks are now synonymous with tasty treats. Case in point: Nathan's, the formerly small hot dog shack that is now one of Coney Island's most celebrated culinary attractions, or Kohr's Frozen Custard, which began with a lone stand and now boasts three locations along the Jersey Shore. With this in mind, we decided to scour the coastlines to discover the best of beachside cuisine. Read on for our favorite sweet and salty indulgences, some of which may seem shocking, but are sure to satisfy.
Saltwater Taffy-Atlantic City Boardwalk, New Jersey
The hubbub of this casino-lined boardwalk is only trumped by one thing: taffy. Known as "The Saltwater Taffy Capital of the World," Atlantic City earned its nickname as a result of two young entrepreneurs, Joseph Fralinger and Enoch James, who started as competitors in the early 1900s, marketing the candy as a souvenir to sunbathers. The two companies eventually merged and the James family maintains retail locations throughout New Jersey under both brand names, which turn out thousands of pounds of candy annually. Photo by Shutterstock
Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs-Coney Island Boardwalk, New York
Now a famous food brand, Nathan's began with humble roots. Nathan Handwerker, a Polish immigrant, founded the restaurant in 1916, using his wife's hot dog recipe. The menu was a hit, luring foodies and celebrities alike over the years. Today, Nathan's sells more than 360 million hot dogs a year, and the Coney Island site is famous for its annual hot dog-eating contest. Photo by WireImage.
Chocolate-Covered Bacon-Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, California
California's oldest seaside amusement park is no stranger to greasy grub. Today, however, the traditional staple of this West Coast walkway-garlic fries-has a little competition: chocolate-covered pieces of hickory-smoked bacon! Although it's a new addition to the menu at Marini's, a local sweet shop started by Joseph Marini in 1915, the bacon was an immediate hit. The company also makes saltwater taffy, caramels and numerous other chocolate-dipped treats, but its bacon has become a boardwalk attraction all its own. Photo courtesy of Cindy May via Flickr.com.
Thrasher's Fries-Ocean City Boardwalk, Maryland
In Maryland, you can't go to the boardwalk without stopping by Thrasher's, a french fry mainstay since J.T. Thrasher opened it in 1929. Served in three sizes, ranging from a small cup to a massive bucket, the thick Idaho wedges are fried in peanut oil and seasoned with salt and malt vinegar. Any other possible ingredients are kept hush-hush. Today, there are three Thrasher's stands, with beachgoers forming lengthy lines outside them all. Photo courtesy of Christina Ruark via Flickr.com.
Deep-Fried Oreos-The Boardwalks at Jersey Shore, New Jersey
Traditionally, the boardwalks in Jersey have been known for sausage and peppers, zeppole and pizza. But not anymore: Deep-fried Oreos are also on the menu. This county fair creation may have started in the Midwest, but it's now a hailed staple at several Jersey Shore boardwalks. The deep-fried treat is made by dipping the chocolate sandwich cookies in sweet funnel or pancake batter, followed by a trip to the deep fryer. With deep-fried Mars Bars and Snickers already on the menu, it seems this creation was inevitable. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Eves via Flickr.com.
Jane's Corndogs-Newport Beach Boardwalk, California
Open for more than 10 years, Jane's Corndogs has left a soft spot in everyone's heart-and a pound or two on their bellies. A junk-food lover's dream, Jane's menu includes deep-fried cheese on a stick, chocolate-dipped frozen banana pops, battered french fries and more. But it's the $2.35 grease-dripping, hand-dipped corndogs that keep the beachgoers-and late-night crowd-begging for more. Photo courtesy of Neos Design via Flickr.com.
Kohr's Frozen Custard-Seaside Heights Boardwalk, New Jersey
What began as a small stand owned by three brothers in 1920 has transformed over the years into three burgeoning sites that have become landmarks on the shores of New Jersey. Kohr's stays true to its "real" ice cream reputation by sticking with the original recipe (made with less air and more eggs than typical ice cream) and selling traditional flavors like butterscotch and bubblegum. Photo courtesy of Tom Simpson via Flickr.com.
White Hot-Ontario Beach Park Boardwalk, New York
In 1925, Zweigle's, a small, Rochester-based purveyor of sausage, introduced the white hot dog (a.k.a. the white hot), a combination of uncured pork, beef and veal. In 1964, Würzburg, Bavaria, was named a "sister city" of Rochester by Sister Cities International, and the growing German population encouraged the prevalence of Bavarian fare. Now, white hots, typically topped with onions and mustard, are sold all over Rochester, and are especially popular along the Lake Ontario shoreline. Photo courtesy of Zweigles.com.
Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.
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