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The Quintessential New England Clambake: From History to Your Own Backyard

Clambakes aren’t just any old seafood feast; they’re a quintessential New England tradition. Have you ever wondered about the seemingly odd practice of cooking an entire meal consisting of everything from potatoes and corn to lobsters and sausage in one pot anywhere from the beach to your backyard? Now thanks to today’s mail order food companies, you no longer have to travel to New England — or even dig the pit! — to appreciate the classic flavors of a New England clambake.

New England clambake

What’s better than cool summer nights and steaming hot chowder?

A Rich Tradition and its Evolution

Most people may think of clambakes as a New England tradition, but the fact is that this meal dates back thousands of years in Native American history. The tribes of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and other New England states have been cooking seafood and sides via this ancient method for thousands of years!

And it all went down completely pot-free. Tribes would work together to dig a hole in the sand, fill it with seaweed, line with wood fired-heater stones or rocks, toss in the seafood, cover with more seafood, and wait for a smoke-infused seafood feast to emerge from the earth. This collaborative act of preparing and cooking gave the meal even greater significance.

At some point, sausage made its way into the mix, added by New Englanders who felt that it would sustain them during manual labor. (Fish was “brain food,” but sausage offered heartier appeal.) Of course, it wasn’t just barge workers and farmhands who enjoyed this meal. Clambakes also became a cultural tradition at New England’s storied seaside resorts.

The Modern-Day Clambake

Since its origins, the clambake has transitioned from fire pit to pot, but the scrumptious, substantive flavors remain the same.

And for many people, there’s no better way to celebrate summer than with a clambake of their own. Whether you live in New England and want to simplify this year’s feast or just want to finally experience a clambake like the locals do, FoodyDirect offers an easy way to embrace this tradition, thanks to 50-year-old Melrose, Massachusetts company Turner’s Seafood. Known for its quintessential New England fare, Turner’s products are now found everywhere from the Gloucester seafood market to award-winning restaurants.

Available for two, 20 or 200, Turner’s New England Clambake includes the essentials of this sea-inspired tradition, including live lobsters, mussels, spices, and chorizo sausage, along with creamy, succulent clam chowder to kick off the meal. Not sure where to begin when it comes to executing? Turner’s also provides all of the information you need to prepare the perfect feast.

New England Clambake

No pit required.

Barbecues may own summer down south, but up and down the New England coast, it’s all about the clambake. So why not gather up some friends and head for the beach — literally or figuratively? Even if you can’t get all your friends in one place, all your favorite foodies can be included in the clambake tradition: just send them Turner’s New England Clambake as a unique mail order food gift. Because clearly, the answer to the question, “What do you get for the person who has everything?” is “a mail order clambake.”

One last tip? However you enjoy your clambake, remember that while the food itself is delicious, a clambake is just as much about the experience as it is about the meal. Be sure to savor every minute of it.