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Article: The Perfect New England Clambake

The Perfect New England Clambake

The Perfect New England Clambake

When you think of the classic seaside meal on Cape Cod, nothing beats an authentic New England style lobster and clambake.  This traditional seaside picnic dates back to the early colonial days, when the settlers learned to steam clams over hot stones covered with seaweed from the Native Americans.  Over time this cherished past time has evolved as a quintessential way to celebrate the summer season.

Here at Cape Cod Beach Chair we pride ourselves as being professional level clambake hosts.  Below are the steps to having the Perfect New England Clambake

Step One- Pick the right location

Although you can have one at a home or restaurant, a true clambake is done at the beach.  The best beaches will have an ample supply of large stones and seaweed.  Bonus points if it faces west for the sunset!  If you have the option, a beach with ORV (off road vehicle) access is ideal as it makes both the set up and clean up, much easier!    Please note: many public beaches on Cape Cod and beyond require a permit for open fires. 

Step Two-Gather your supplies

An authentic clambake should have an assortment of fresh lobster, shellfish such as clams and mussels, potatoes, and corn on the cob. You can also cook onions, fish, or chicken too!  Don't forget lemons and butter, and some watermelon for dessert.  To wash it down we recommend freshly squeezed lemonade or cold beer.  For cooking supplies you will need some fire wood and kindling, a shovel, and a large tarp.

Step Three- Invite your crew

A clambake is best done at a large scale.  It takes a bit of work to set up correctly, and the meal is fit for a king.  A clambake is a perfect way to kick off the summer, celebrate a birthday, or toast the end of the season on Labor Day.  Whatever the excuse, invite a sizeable crew of your best friends and family to enjoy a summer night they won't forget.  

Step Four- Let's get cooking

To begin, use your shovel to dig a big pit.  Line the pit with large stones and rocks collected from the beach.  Place your firewood on top of the stones and light it up!  You will want the fire to burn for 2-3 hours to get the stones nice and hot.  Pull up your favorite Cape Cod Beach Chair, turn on some music, kick back and enjoy.

Once the rocks are nice and hot and most of the wood has burned away, it's time to get back to work.  Gather some wet seaweed from the nearby shoreline and spread it out on the rocks. It will immediately start to steam from the heat radiating off the rocks.  Lay your food on top, then cover with a little more seaweed and the tarp.  The aromatic steam from the seaweed will cook all the food and give it a uniquely succulent and smoky flavor.  

Step Five-Time for a feast!

Remove the tarp and have at it.  We recommend an ample supply of beach tables, and be sure to bring lots of paper plates, paper towels, and a trash bag for an easy clean up.  Enjoy... and send us an invite!

-Team CCBC

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