Wellfleet OysterFest - October 13–14
Bid adieu to the high season with mouthfuls of fresh, local seafood at the Wellfleet OysterFest. The town center draws crowds for a bounty that includes fresh oysters, homemade chowder, arts and crafts, live music, and a shucking contest, a spectator favorite in which competitors square off to see who can properly clean 24 oysters in the least amount of time. wellfleetoysterfest.org[SinglePic not found]
Even though they all descend from the crassostrea virginica species, each of the three types of oysters commonly encountered on Cape Cod possesses a distinct flavor. We asked Rowan Jacobsen, author of A Geography of Oysters and founder of oysterguide.com, to put these differences into words.
Raised in Cape Cod Bay, Wellfleets have a signature salty taste, from the concentrated salty water they are raised in, and mineral flavor, with a light body, and clean finish.
These oysters are slightly less salty than Wellfleets because they are harvested in Nantucket Sound and feature a sweeter taste.
These lesser-known oysters have thick shells because they have spent a long time on the bottom growing before they were harvested. This results in a good, dense texture, with a salty taste of the Atlantic and less mineral flavor than Wellfleets.
Drive to the northernmost part of the Cape and enjoy outstanding artwork in America’s oldest continuous artist colony at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. Visit the museum’s website to find an up-to-date list of exhibitions. Open noon to 5 p.m., Thursday to Sunday. paam.org, 508-487-1750
Explore a quiet and lesser-known part of the Cape on the Great Island Trail, an unforgettable hike to Jeremy Point in Wellfleet. There is plenty of wildlife to see on the way, like crabs, piping plovers, and seals. Check the tides before you go and bring your hiking boots as the trail can become marsh-like at high tide. nps.gov/caco
Take inspiration from the OysterFest and go shell fishing at Salt Pond in Eastham, which allows for non-commercial shell fishing on Sundays. Get your permit at Eastham’s Natural Resources Department, pull out your bucket, and you’re ready to go. eastham-ma.gov, 508-240-5972