The Supermarket Chronicles VIII: Cape Cod Cuisine Customs

Chatham harbor

Chatham harbor

While spending the summer on Cape Cod, our vacation destination since childhood and a place that owns a part of our hearts, we trialled the area as a potential future home base in America.  Our rental cottage became a hub for visiting family and friends, such as my sister Jen and her exceedingly patient boyfriend Nathan (patience is an absolute necessity for dating my sister and spending time with the Powell clan).  Cape Cod requires the indulgence of certain delicacies, and Nathan has only been to the Cape a couple times, so it was our responsibility to provide an authentic experience.  Little neck clams raw are somewhat advanced for the uninitiated, so we started with them lightly grilled and topped with a bit of lemon juice, melted butter and Cholula sauce.  Apologies for the blurry pictures, but we were laughing so hard Jen couldn’t hold her phone still. Start at the top left picture for the unfolding drama.

A traditionally well documented rite of passage in the family is eating your first lobster, and when my parents came to visit for a few days, it was decreed by the current reigning matriarch (my mother) that it was time for Cian to attempt this milestone.  The kids had enjoyed going to the local Falmouth fish monger and peering into the lobster tanks, but actually bringing one home to cook was something else.  We adhered to the normal, strange and perhaps morbid customs of naming, petting, and racing the poor ocean bugs before unabashedly guillotining them lengthwise for the grill or dropping them live into boiling water.  Cian only had a few bites, but it was all that was needed to induct another member into the tribe.

How funny that we dignified Americans are disgusted by the “bizarre” foods of other countries.