Have you ever had one of those moments where you stuff yourself even though you are full? At the annual Santa Cruz clam chowder festival/competition, I did just that.
My Aunty Shelli, who also brought me to the food festival in San Francisco, surprised me yet again by taking me to this amazing event. The Santa Cruz Clam Chowder festival is just what it sounds like. You go to the Beach Boardwalk and walk around, sampling different groups’ clam chowder. Then you get to vote on your favorite station. It doesn’t get any better than that!
Going in, I sort of knew that everything was going to taste delicious. Since clam chowder is more of an “East Coast” food, I can’t actually remember the last time I tried it before the competition. That being said, I’m generally open to all foods and entered the festival that way.
There are more or less two types of clam chowder. There’s the Boston (white) chowder and the Manhattan (red) chowder. The white chowder is the really creamy one which has a thicker broth. The red chowder has a tomato base and has a thinner texture. Any traditional clam chowder, however, will most likely contain celery, bits of clam, potatoes, onions, bacon, and oyster/saltine crackers on the side. When I tried my first bite of clam chowder that day, I thought “Wow, why haven’t I been eating this more often. It’s so tasty!”. That tantalizing seafood flavor containing those soft potatoes or delicious celery is such an amazing combination. That day, we tried over seven different chef’s clam chowders, so I had to pace myself, but I just couldn’t sometimes. I was honestly stuffed after only three bowls, yet I kept going because it was so irresistible! After 30 minutes of just eating, we deposited our votes. To be honest, it was hard for me to choose which I liked the best because it it was all so scrumptious. Even though we got to vote for both the red and white chowders, overall I enjoyed trying the Boston version better because of that mouth watering creamy taste.
Looking back on my day at the festival, I can’t help but put it as one of my favorite food experiences yet. I want to give a big shout out to my Aunty Shelli finding such a cool event and then taking me there to go try all of the yummy food. You always come up with the best ideas! I’m not a real food reviewer, but it sure felt like it that day, thanks to you. I mean, what’s better than stuffing yourself with good old clam chowder?
If you’d like to know more about the annual Santa Cruz clam chowder festival, look here.