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Cape Cod Chowderfest at The Melody Tent

David Quigley | 8/19/2016

A great time was had by all at this year’s Cape Cod Chowderfest. Again the Cape Cod Melody Tent was the scene on Sunday for the 36th annual event. Ten restaurants from across the Cape brought their smiling staff members and gallons of everyone’s favorite New England clam chowder to be judged by a jury of vacationers and locals both young and old. This is a well-loved Cape Cod tradition, every July.

To B (bacon), or not to B. That was the question. Whether it was nobler to stick with the traditional recipe of onion, celery, potato, and clams, or take liberties and add your own twist…we can only guess. Thyme and rosemary seemed to make their way into the mix this year and overpowered the traditional bay leaf in a few cases. I heard the voters saying “too much of this” or “too much of that” as they filled out their ballots.

One of my first samples, and favorites, came from Kelly’s on Main in Hyannis. Michael and his staff served up a thick and tasty traditional chowder at booth #3.

Paul Vinditti at the Mattakeese Wharf would not answer the bacon question when we talked to him. He just kept stirring his big pot of chowder and smiled as hundreds of hungry “expert judges” lined up to see him at booth #8. Mattakeese Wharf eventually won the balloting.

Bands played in the Melody Tent throughout the afternoon and the weather could not have been better. A great way to kick off a tasty summer. Happy as a clam!