When asked to pick which cookie best represents them, Mainers weren’t like anyone else

Nestle Toll House, producer of various baked good products, surveyed more than 5,000 people all across the country to ask what kind of cookie those people feel most reminds them of their state.

Because when you sell cookies, it’s a good idea to get some ideas about what people think about cookies. Plus, you get your name in the news for having done a quirky survey.

Anyway, as so often happens in these types of things, Maine is an outlier. According to USA Today, people from 18 states — 18! — said they most relate to chocolate chip cookies. Another 10 states went with chocolate chip peanut butter as their proverbial “spirit cookies,” and three more were daring enough to pick chocolate chip cookies with nuts.

Look, folks. Chocolate chip cookies are perfectly tasty. But let’s face it, it’s not an adventurous pick. If that’s the cookie you think best represents you and your state, it kind of says “steady,” “predictable” … and maybe even “a little boring.”

Mainers are nothing if not independent, and sure enough, we struck out alone as the only state where molasses cookies were the No. 1 pick.

Hey, I bet you were hoping to see these cookies in a map. Voila!

cookie map

Notice the folks from Massachusetts, Vermont, Florida and Hawaii, in particular, sticking by their local crops. Nice work, fellas.

So why do molasses cookies represent Maine? The survey reporting doesn’t seem to probe for much more in terms of explanations and I haven’t seen any stories guessing about the reasons for the choices.

We do know there’s a long tradition in Maine of making molasses cookies — a BDN callout for recipes a few years back received an enthusiastic response, including some reader recipes dating back generations, some a century old.

Molasses has been a mainstay ingredient in New England since the 1600s, when the infamous Triangular Trade — which also dealt in human slaves — brought regular shipments of the sweet syrup to the northeast from the West Indies.

So what cookie do you feel best represents Maine? Do you agree with the Nestle survey results? Leave your thoughts below or on Facebook.

Inspired to make some molasses cookies of your own? Here’s a quick how-to video: