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Celebrating a milestone with a family-style, Cape Cod clambake

Jennie Sparrow | 11/11/2017

Succulent lobsters, just-pulled-from-the-bay steamers, savory sausages, fresh summer corn and buttery potatoes – these are a few of my favorite things! When I learned that we were celebrating's 20th anniversary with a clambake, I was a happy girl indeed!

lobster clam bake on cape cod

My love of this Cape Cod classic started early on. My mother started the backyard family tradition when I was a child. First we’d head to the beach, usually Pleasant Bay, and gather a bunch of seaweed, an important ingredient for any clambake. Not any seaweed will do—it has to be rockweed—for it contains tiny pockets of air and moisture that rupture when heated, providing the moisture (and sea salt!) necessary for the clambake.

Rockweed: a staple ingredient for any Cape Cod clambake!

Inside a large lobster pot we’d place the rockweed, a small layer of steamers, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, sausages, linguica, and some hot dogs that had all been wrapped into precut squares of brown paper bags. Finally, we’d add a generous layer of steamers and would top it off with lobsters. While the pot was steaming, we’d melt butter and set out the bibs and napkins.

steamers for clamback on cape cod

The celebratory clambake from Cape Cod Chef on Call did not disappoint! Owners Jeff and Joan, who had extended the invitation not only to all of us staff members but also to our families, gave a heartfelt speech to everyone gathered. Not only was the food spot-on and beyond delicious, but the warm family atmosphere—perhaps the most important ingredient of all in this salt-of-the-sea dish—made it all the more special.  Family, tradition, and seafood—that’s what the Cape is all about!

lobsters for clambake on cape cod