There aren’t many places where you can order a chocolate cabinet. Place that order in Rhode Island, though, and you’ll soon be served what most people in the United States would call a chocolate milkshake.
According to food columnist Adam Ried, calling milkshakes “cabinets” may have originated because some of the ingredients and equipment needed to make this dessert drink were stored in a cabinet. One of the most popular flavors among Rhode Islanders is the coffee cabinet, which plays off of coffee milk, the official state drink.
In other parts of New England, milkshakes are called “frappes.” If one were to order a milkshake, he or she would likely be served a light, frothy beverage of milk and flavored syrup literally shaken together before being served.