Andrew Zimmern Bizarre Foods Delicious Destinations Cape Cod - Photo by PapaDunes - https://www.flickr.com/photos/papadunes/3733794845/ under CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9714277
In Bizarre Foods Cape Cod, part of the Delicious Destinations series featuring Andrew Zimmern, the host and his crew visited numerous restaurants in the city, showcasing a variety of unique and delicious dishes. Here is a convenient list of all the addresses and dishes highlighted in this exciting exploration of Cape Cod’s food scene.
ANDREW ZIMMERN CAPE COD DISH – Clambake
WHAT IS IT?
The clambake is a seaside feast that features lobster, mussels, clams, corn, and potatoes steamed over hot rocks and seaweed on the sand. The rocks are layered with hardwood charcoal and heated for 4 hours until red-hot, then the seafood and vegetables are added along with seaweed, which is the hottest part of the fire. The ingredients are covered with soaked canvas and plastic tarps to create a steam oven. After an hour, the seafood is finished in the kitchen and served in large pots.
WHERE IS IT?
Beach House Grill (Found at Floor 1 of Chatham Bars Inn) 297 Shore Rd, Chatham, MA 02633, United States Cape Cod, United States
NOTES – DELICIOUS DESTINATIONS CAPE COD
The clambake is a long-standing culinary tradition in America that dates back to Native Americans cooking shellfish in sand pits 2000 years ago. Over the last four centuries, it has evolved into a summertime staple for large gatherings of family and community.
DISH – Cod
WHAT IS IT?
This dish features fresh, flaky white cod, the fish after which the peninsula was named in 1602. The chef first breaks down the fish before preparing the sauce, made by sauteeing lobster legs, vegetables, and tomato paste and flambeing it with brandy to create a flavorful stock. The cod is simply seasoned with salt and white pepper, then seared over high heat. A rich sauce is spooned over the fish, which is served alongside pan-fried fingerling potatoes, roasted red pepper, and Cipollini onion.
Atlantic cod was a valuable commodity for fishermen worldwide and a thriving industry for Cape Cod. However, overfishing has significantly reduced their population. Currently, intensive fishery management is gradually replenishing their numbers, allowing for some commercial harvesting.
These are stuffed quahogs, also known as stuffies. They are made by mixing chopped clams, sausage, and breadcrumbs and baking them in the half shell. The clams are first braised in reserved liquid for added flavor. Stuffies were originally created as a cost-effective way to stretch valuable clam meat by mixing it with bread, vegetables, and spicy Portuguese chorizo. The stuffing mixture also includes fennel, garlic, butter, and clam juice, which is simmered before adding crumbled cornbread. The chef then stuffs the mixture into half clamshells, drizzles them with melted butter and bakes them until they are brown and crispy.
Quahogs, little neck, and chari stone clams belong to the same species of hardshell clam. The difference lies in their age and size. Little necks are the youngest and smallest, while cherry stones are larger and more mature. Quahogs are the biggest, weighing about half a pound each. Due to their thicker and tougher meat as they grow, quahogs are ideal for being cooked and chopped in chowders and stuffies.
ANDREW ZIMMERN CAPE COD DISH – Fried Clams
WHAT IS IT?
Fried clams are whole clams that are lightly battered and deep fried. Fried clam strips made famous by Howard Johnson’s restaurants since the 1940s are made from the burrowing foot of any of several clam species sliced into long pieces. Whole steamer or softshell clams belly and all are preferred by the Cape Cod residents. The clams are dipped in evaporated milk to add sweetness and help the fry batter stick. The bellies are then deep fried and served over fries with house-made coleslaw and tartar sauce.
The commercial claming industry is worth millions of dollars on Cape Cod, with farmers and fishermen harvesting along the shore. The shallow bays and beaches on the Cape provide ideal conditions for clamming, allowing anyone with a rake, bucket, and permit to dig up fresh clams when the tide is out.
The Linguica breakfast sandwich features a hearty combination of fried egg, Portuguese sausage, and cheese, served on a freshly baked roll. The chef uses a mix of whole wheat and white flour to make the yeast dough, forming oblong pouches that are allowed to rise in a proof box for 30 minutes before baking to a golden brown. The star ingredient, linguica, is a Portuguese pork sausage flavored with garlic, paprika, and spices. This sandwich has become an essential addition to Cape Cod’s culinary scene, alongside traditional dishes like clambakes and stuffed quahogs.
The initial Portuguese immigrants to New England were sailors who had worked on fishing and whaling ships in Portugal and were attracted to the thriving whaling industry on Cape Cod. The community grew with subsequent waves of immigrants in the 1950s and currently, a thriving Portuguese community numbering in the hundreds of thousands stretches from New Bedford down to Cape Cod.
Cranberry bog ice cream combines the Cape’s love of ice cream with the abundance of local cranberries. The ice cream has a light cranberry flavor, with dried cranberries, walnuts, and dark chocolate chunks. The base is a mix of milk, heavy cream, and sugar, with cranberry extract added for flavor and color. To prevent the berries from freezing, the chef adds sugar syrup, which draws water from the berries. After churning, the ice cream is soft and creamy, and is served at the shop in house-made waffle cones or as a sundae with various toppings.
The cranberry is one of the few native fruits commercially harvested in North America, enjoyed by indigenous peoples for centuries. Cultivation of the tart crimson berries began on Cape Cod in 1816, and by the mid-1800s, the region was the leading producer in the United States.
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