We are going to talk lobster here. Lobster as in the great tasting little beast. (We are going to skip the lobster as in the color of my skin after the first couple of days in the sun of Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod...yes, my wife – who knows that I normally use SPF 30 sunblock – decided to bring only a SPF15. Is she after the insurance money? I wonder...)
No, we didn't make it to Maine where the lobster really is King (we plan on going to the Maine lobster festival next year...but if you are in and around Maine now, well, the festival is next week). But if in Massachusetts the lobster ain't king, it is at least, you know, boss (as Stephen King would say).
I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by both the Vineyard and the Cape. I know, for American people this comment of mine will sound obvious. But neither regions are travel destinations for Europeans, they are not advertised. As a matter of fact, I don't recall coming across any non-US traveler during our 10 days there. It's a pity these areas are not known outside of the US, because they really are beautiful. Some of the beaches on Cape Cod were just picture perfect.
But we want to discuss food here, right? So let's go
Consider the lobster
You cannot talk about the Vineyard and the Cape without talking about two things: the clam chowder and the lobster.The clam chowder (for you non American out there) is a very thick soup with potatoes, cream and clams. It is very good. If you like clams and potatoes. If not, bad luck.
And then there is the lobster.
The lobster roll and a cup a clam chowder.
Since I read the phenomenal article by David Foster Wallace, Consider the lobster, on whether lobster feel pain when they are cut alive or thrown into boiling water, I have been giving lobsters a lot of thought. (Incidentally, DFW was the kind of guy who could turn very dull subjects into very interesting reading. Amazing guy, RIP). So, I was saying that I was giving a lot of thought to lobsters. And my conclusion is that I really don't give a shit about whether they suffer or not. I know, you PETA people out there will think I am an insensitive bastard. And that's precisely what I am. The beast is tasty. That's all I think about it. And not even DFW's definition of lobster as “basically giant sea-insects” made me change my mind. (By the way, does PETA give a shit about lobster? I mean, I have never seen protests to protect the lobster. I hope they do care. It would make me feel sad if nobody, not even PETA, cared about them).
The real discovery of this trip was the lobster roll. I had never eaten it: a sandwich with a lot of lobster (sometimes 250/300g/ half a pound), mayo and cilantro. And lemon. That's it, baby. And French fries. No, don't say eek...I can see you back in Brussels or in Florence laughing and thinking that it must be disgusting. Believe me. It wasn't. I think we ate approximately 10 of these rolls over the course of the 10 days holidays. Delicious.
The lobster roll in the process of getting a Tuscan foodie approval.
But since that wasn't enough lobster, we also ate as much lobster bisque as possible. And I even went as far as to order a lobster quesadilla. And lobster macaroni and cheese, with very large chunks of lobster. Man, was that thing good...
Lobster chowder. Ok.
Lobster Quesadilla. We disagreed on this one. I thought it was wonderful. My wife not so much.
Lobster Macaroni & Cheese. Yes. I can only say YES.
No lobster in this fried dough bought at Provincetown to try and keep on eating healthy
(By the way, the best lobster I ever ate in my life was in Italy, in Sardinia. It was prepared alla catalana, Catalan way. Recipe here).
We ate in various restaurants. I am not going to go through all of them, but I can tell you this: they were ALL overpriced, with a very bad price quality ratio. All of them. The major disappointment though was to find out that the famous Gingerbread cottages in Oakbluff were not actually made of gingerbread. WTF?
Gingerbread cottages are not made of gingerbread. Disappointing.
A special mention to Liam's, a clam's shack on Nauset Beach. AMAZING food. Worth the line under the baking sun.
A shack. You don't need anything more.
PS: there are only so many lighthouses that a man can be expected to visit without getting into a whatever attitude. But the Cape Code ones are really amazing.