The New England Clambake is a beloved culinary tradition that uses seawater and seaweed to steam seafood and vegetables in a large hole dug in the sand. The Native Americans first shared this method of cooking with the New England colonists. Today, this humble yet extravagant meal is the perfect centerpiece for a summer get-together.
Classic clambakes feature Maine lobsters, clams and mussels, and sausage like kielbasa or chorizo. Vegetables traditionally include corn on the cob, red potatoes, and onions. The Native Americans also used oysters, scallops, and squashes.
There are many useful tips online to turn the novice into a “bakemaster.” The basic idea is to use seawater and seaweed to steam the ingredients over your heat source. The traditional method uses a pit and a wood fire, but the grill can offer a convenient shortcut to suit your needs.
Clambakes yield a lot of food but take time. To test for doneness, check the potatoes – when they’re tender, the rest is ready to go! Serve the meal with butter, fresh lemon, and lobster crackers – and maybe have some watermelon for dessert.
There’s no party like a Clambake Party! While there is a lot of effort involved, the preparation is a fun part of the ritual. Kids can help gather seaweed and driftwood while learning about cooking. The whole family can experience food together and connect with the area through nature’s bounty.
If you’re thinking of hosting a clambake party, think big! Places to host a party often include backyards and beaches, but these may be small and many forbid open fires. The private beaches and spacious grounds of historic Tupper Manor are the perfect place to hold a clambake, and family and friends can be a part of North Shore history.