year, for summer vacation, we did a fabulous tour of France.
This year, we crossed the pond to do a tour of New England. More
specifically, Cape Cod. Since I grew up not too far from the cape, or le cap, as we
came to call it during our trip. (Cap
Cabillaud doesn’t roll off the tongue quite the same way.) I
was particularly excited that we chose this destination – well, I chose
it – so I could eat the foods of my childhood, which happily haven’t
changed all that much over the years.
in California, where I lived most of my life, New England specialties
don’t quite cross the country with the same savoir-faire. Soft-shelled clams,
lobster rolls, deep-fried clam bellies and baked stuffed clams don’t
taste the same unless you’re eating them on a salty seashore in New
England. The good thing is that you don’t need to go to fancy restaurants
to have them: the casual clam shacks, snack bars, and seafood stands that
line the highways, routes, and coastlines, serve local seafood and
specialties, which you can enjoy at communal picnic tables with
other like-minded diners, and not have to worry about reservations,
parking, etc…which makes for a pretty relaxed vacation.
done the coasts of France and while fresh seafood is abundant at markets,
and is infrequently sold at the ports, there aren’t stands where you
can just pull up and have a fish sandwich or a bowl of steamers. Romain
had told me a few years ago when we were staying on an island
in Provence that locals didn’t really snack or dine on foods that
way, so we were either eating in restaurants, and having multi-course meals,
or choosing to make our own picnics, gathering what we could. Which in
France, means cheese, charcuterie, bread and wine.
Cape Cod, I rustled up some “local” specialities, and Romain was
immediately hooked on Triscuits, especially the rye-caraway ones, and he
was very sorry when I told him that they weren’t available in France. On
the upside, there’s always wine, and drinking it is legal on the beaches.
But we did okay with gin and tonics,
Cape Cod potato chips and local tomatoes.