Celebrating the 1st day of Summer…Quahog-Style!

Photo of plate of stuffed clams with slide of lemon

Here on the Cape we have some wildlife.
On the the Lamb and Lion Inn’s 4 acres we have a frisky fox family, who pretty much stay to themselves and are really no trouble, now that we put the smack down on their late-night S’more bonfires. We’ll see the occasional coyote chasing an ACME truck down Old King’s Highway, plenty of fat and nervous looking wild turkeys, ducks that are still hunted in various areas, and supposedly some deer (but that’s debatable–we have deer-hunting friends who have spent countless hours in a tree stand and the only thing they’ve “bagged” is a strong case of vertigo). Last week we even had our very first bear sighting! The bear was first seen less than a mile from the Lamb and Lion, and while heading east practically walked right through our backyard (he’s currently heading towards P-Town–and why not?).
I guess the one animal we don’t have is a groundhog, as the Cape Cod Chamber, 4 years ago decided to toss out the whole “groundhog seeing his shadow” concept in lieu of a whispering Quahog named Doug, and created “Quahog Day!”

Now, before we talk about the day, let’s cover its host. If you don’t live on or near Cape Cod, not only might you not know what a Quahog is, you’re probably butchering the pronunciation. Say it again to yourself…“QUAHOG”…see, we told you–not even close. A Quahog is pronounced ko-hog, and it’s a very large clam that is culinarily awesome on several levels. Ever had clam chowder?, well then, you’ve had a Quahog clam. Quahogs have a lot of meat and therefore go a long way and can jazz up many things. Arguably the best prep for a Quahog is baked and stuffed. We here at the Lamb and Lion consider ourselves baked stuffed Quahog experts, and are always in search of the best preparation. On Cape Cod, you can’t swing a clam rake without hitting a menu that features this weighty gem, and when we see it, we generally order it out of curiosity.

A proper baked stuffed Quahog really only needs one thing…a squirt of fresh lemon.

So what makes one baked stuffed quahog better that another? Well, there are many factors. How much clam meat is in the stuffing? How big is the clam itself? Is is spicy? Seasoned? Sauced? One factor WE believe (and again, we are experts, just ask us) is a deal killer guaranteed to knock a “stuffy” out of the “best of” running, worse than over seasoning with herbs like thyme (ugh!), is the inclusion of peppers. Folks, here’s the thing about bell peppers…unless you roast them first, that’s all you’re going to taste–not only while you’re eating, but all the way home–and we LOVE bell peppers (as well as thyme, for the record). Unfortunately, for whatever cockamamie reason (and I rarely use that word–thanks spell check!), green and red peppers have somehow become the #2 ingredient just after clam meat, so, although most seafood restaurants serve “stuffys”, the majority of them, we can take or leave.

When you’re here at the Lamb and Lion Inn, one of the things we point out to you on our self-guided driving tours is where to find the BEST baked stuffed clams on Cape Cod (we also help you find the best ice cream, lobster roll, etc. etc., but we’re already getting off point). I, Tom, one of the innkeepers, am the Senior Contributing Editor for Edible Cape Cod Magazine. Last summer I wrote an article on the best baked stuffed clam on the Cape (again, my opinion), and so if you’d like to know where to go for that (without staying with us, because we’re good like that), here’s a link to the article.

Doug The Quahog and his handler flanked by security

OK, now that you know more about Quahogs then you did a couple of minutes ago, you outta get to Cape Cod for the 4th Annual Quahog Day! This year the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and their “star-studded Quahog cast” will be joining Doug the Quahog for the “Quahog Prognostication” at the Skipper Restaurant in South Yarmouth (a very easy drive from the inn). It is then, and only then, that we’ll all be able to find out how many weeks of beach weather lie ahead. After the ceremony and proCLAMation* from the celebrated and esteemed Doug, there will be a Quahog Day bash at the restaurant. Hope to see you here. All bets are on Doug telling us it’s going to be an awesome summer–and there are a lot of Quahogs that need to be eaten (although Doug has been pardoned by the President). “Sea” you soon!

* ProCLAMation? How good is that…I think we beat the Chamber to that one.