Food Traveler Magazine Winter 2016 - Page 67

M any people are aware of the myth that shellfish are only in season during the months that end with the letter “r.” If this is true, then now is the perfect time to stock up and splurge on tasty seafood like oysters, clams, and mussels. Do these already-tasty seafood delights get even better in the winter time? Explore the coasts of America as we debunk this claim and find out whether it is fact or fiction. Fact : Clams taste best in the winter months. Clams are the “cleanest and best-tasting” during this time, as the colder waters reduce the amount of sand and mud being pumped through these bivalves. The statement stays true when claiming that “the colder the weather and the water, the better the clams.” However, this weather makes the clams harder to harvest. This is particularly true when raking the sand for bay clams, rather than the larger mollusks that are chopped up, canned, and used in chowders. Speaking of chowders, head up the east coast to Saratoga Springs, New York, for the Annual Chowderfest. Opening on February 4, 2017, the Annual Chowderfest is one of the most popular events in the area. It is a family-oriented event that hosts over 80 vendors – many of whom are the most reputable chefs and restaurants in the Saratoga area – all serving up their best versions of chowder. 2017 marks the 18th year for this festival, and the event runs from 11am-4pm. You can expect live music, kid-friendly activities, and dogs are welcome! There is even a “doggy chow-down” competition, where you can enter your pup to scarf down some dog-friendly chowder. The various chowders do not exclusively feature clams, as some have shrimp and grilled corn on the menu, like 2016’s People’s Choice winner, Gaffney’s Restaurant, that served their bowls up with a crab popper wonton. New Jersey is definitely a highlight when it comes to finding fresh clams, so head over to Mike’s Seafood & Dock Restaurant in Sea Isle City for their famous steamed clams. Served piping hot in a house-made butter, garlic, and white wine sauce, $45 gets you 100 clams to enjoy. Mike’s has been a family tradition for decades, serving up the best seafood since 1911. Along Fish Alley, Mike’s offers not r'WBFRg&W6W7B6VfBF6W2B2&r& F6WFRFR76RࠤfEG&fVW"vFW"#`cP