New England's Traditional 4th Of July Meal Is Like No Other

What comes to mind when picturing the 4th of July? Fireworks, beaches, maybe a barbecue complete with hotdogs and burgers? Since Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, via History, the United States has moved forward with commemorating the birth of our Nation with lively celebrations from the east to the west coasts. While the theme of each party stays the same to celebrate the USA, the traditions vary. 

On Coney Island in New York City, it's customary on the 4th of July to celebrate with Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest. For those living in Northern California, the San Francisco Bay lights up with over 10,000 fireworks as the stunning landscape of The Golden Gate Bridge dresses the backdrop, according to Boat International. In Philadelphia, descendants of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence tap the iconic Liberty Bell, via ABC Action News

However, one of the most exciting celebrations practiced is none other than by the folks living in New England. While the original location of the American Revolution and part of the founding colonies of the United States, their annual celebration is not to be expected for a 4th of July tradition. 

The 4th of July, time for fireworks, salmon...and peas?

For New Englanders, it's iconic to serve salmon alongside a healthy helping of peas for the 4th of July, via New England Today. Seemingly random to observers, this tradition has been practiced since our country became a country. The states making up New England: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire, have access to New England's rivers fed by the Atlantic Ocean. During America's founding, an estimated number of 300,000 salmon made their way up through these rivers during the summer months, serving as a wonderful meal source for all New Englanders. At the same time, peas were a plentiful crop and began harvesting in late June — making them a phenomenal pairing with the savory fish. 

While salmon numbers have diminished since the Industrial revolution, thanks to tradition and modern food sourcing, the custom of salmon and peas is still carried out throughout all of New England on the 4th of July.  Want to impress and combine holiday traditions? Swap a traditional beef or turkey burger for a tasty salmon burger. Even an ordinary hot dog can get an upgrade with a delicious salmon sausage! Not only will you be leaning into USA's centuries old-traditions, but getting in a generous dose of Omega-3 fatty acids, per Healthline.