The Fourth of July: It’s the holiday that Americans celebrate and clams fear.
Troy Conrad of Hampton Clam Bake and Catering Co. in East Hampton, N.Y., calls this his biggest weekend of the year. However, the clambake can seem unattainable for those without Martha’s Vineyard beachfront property.
That’s why Atlantic coastline companies have devised portable clambakes that layer live clams, lobsters and mussels, fresh from overnight shipping.
The only thing these kits don’t come with is a pit. Instead, they’re intended for stockpots. Add a propane burner and you can complete the outdoor experience.
Traditionalists might decry the elimination of digging a hole in the sand. However, in addition to being practical — few Angelenos are keen to excavate their landscaped backyards — the above-ground clambake may be more to West Coast tastes.
Clambakes wrapped with seaweed and steamed underground often “come out tasting very, very different from what people think a clam and a lobster taste like,” says Aimee Guthinger of Alfresco Event Design on Cape Cod. “If you’ve never had it, it ends up tasting kinda funky.”
All clambakes include instructions; prices, amounts are for two people.
They provide Two 1¼ lb. lobsters, 2 lbs. steamer or littleneck clams, one pint clam chowder
You provide Mussels, corn, potatoes
Shipping to 90210 $96.11
$64.99; 508-420-0550, clambakesetc.com
ClamBakes to Travel
They provide 2 lbs. steamer clams, two 1¼ lb. lobsters, 2 lbs. mussels, 1/2 lb. Portuguese sausage, 2 corn on the cob, 1 lb. Red Bliss potatoes, a few little onions and rockweed, as well as a pot
You provide Just add water
Shipping to 90210 included
$149 ; 800-722-Clam, clambakeco.com
Quality Fresh Seafood
They provide 2 lbs. littleneck clams, two 1 1/5 lbs. lobsters, 2 lbs. Price Edward Island mussels, 2 lbs. cooked shrimp and a 20 oz. tub of clam chowder or lobster bisque
You provide Vegetables
Shipping to 90210 $47
$119.98; 888-205-8848, qualityfreshseafood.com
Woodman’s of Essex
They provide 3 lbs. steamer clams, two 1/4 lbs. lobsters, 2 ears of corn, 1 pint chowder stock
You provide Milk for the chowder
Shipping to 90210 Included
$124.95; 1-877-Sendlob, woodmans.com
What’s on ice
By Lawrence Marcus
Rogue’s Morimoto Soba Ale boasts approval from Iron Chef (and former Nobu head chef) Maraharu Morimoto, a man who knows his seafood.
The golden ale gets its unusual flavor profile — toast, nuts and citrus — from soba, or buckwheat, a close relative of rhubarb.
Why does it deserve an invite to your clambake? Finesse. Macrobrews are crisp but bland; Belgians are too thick and sweet for the heat. And while super-hopped American pale ales will please some in your party, not everyone wants a bitter beer that tastes like pine air freshener.
Morimoto’s brew carries the distinction of being rich and complex while remaining dry and light on its feet–a quality crucial to pairing with delicate seafood.