For every little niche in the world, there exists a culture of food that is associated with that area. Make sure to eat jambalaya in New Orleans, try the wine in France, boiled meat in England (wait what?) and definitely eat fresh seafood when on the Atlantic in Cape Cod. Although Chels and I try to mix seafood (mostly just fish) into our diet here in Ithaca, we definitely reserved a special place for all that was to come during our week in the cape.
Sometime this week we had to have fish and chips, mussels, clams, swordfish, scallops, and especially lobster. We ate a lot of lobster. Heck, at one restaurant we got two 1 1/4 pound lobsters, steamers, and corn for $23. Each. I wish I had the picture to prove it, 8 lobsters at our table. Anyway, prepared seafood aside, I forgot how much fun it is catching your own food and eating it, which is exactly what we managed to do one of our last days.
Every so often on the waterways in the Cape you will see a guy with a small boat and a funny looking rake. That guys is digging for clams. Not content to just watch, our friends Jay and Dan decided to go ask one of the guys what clam digging (quahog’n) is all about, pictured above. I should mention that one needs a license to harvest fresh shellfish we uh…..borrowed that guys.
It turns out that you don’t need any fancy gear to catch some clams, just a pair of feet. The guys (and me eventually) dug around in the sand until we could feel what was a clam, then brought it up to the surface. Above is what our harvest was. We also managed to find bunches of mussels in the tall grass, and those also came back with us.
The mussels turned out to be much easier to cook than the clams. All we had to do was steam them for a little bit and they open right up.
Here is what they look like opened up, just a splash of butter and we were in business. Maybe it was a sense of satisfaction that I got when eating mussels that I caught 20 min after I got them, but I swear these were the best mussels I have ever eaten.
And my wife agrees.
We did cook the clams too, though they were much tougher to break open. We weren’t rewarded too much though. Raw clam is too chewy to eat, steamed clam isn’t much better but sauteed clam was actually pretty good. We would have put stuffed quahog and clam chowder on the list of things to make, but ran out of time.
Hopefully everyone that likes seafood had a chance to get their fill in the cape, I know we did.