The Hampton Seafood Festival

Every year around this time, the Crankee Yankee and I go to the Hampton (NH) Seafood Festival. It is a feast of the best seafood in the region, and we never miss it. Here are the highlights of the festival:

  • fried clams
  • clam fritters
  • raw oysters
  • fried oysters
  • lobster rolls
  • scallops wrapped in bacon
  • clam chowder
  • seafood chowder
  • coconut shrimp
  • fried shrimp
  • boiled shrimp
  • shrimp tacos
  • fried fish sandwiches and tacos
  • strawberry shortcake
  • ice cream
  • pulled pork
  • bloomin’ (fried) onions
  • fried pickles
  • fried Oreos

We always start with a bowl of clam chowder, passing it back and forth as we walk along. Then we split a lobster roll, then coconut shrimp, then fried clams, and top it all off with a generous bowl of homemade strawberry shortcake. FYI: real strawberry shortcake is made with homemade biscuits, NOT spongecake. We New Englanders call that “out of town shortcake.”

In fact, that strawberry shortcake was so good that we got another one and split it. By that time we had to sit down and digest; we agreed that we were stuffed. It was a gorgeous day; lots of sunshine, low humidity, and plenty of ocean breezes. There are also people selling things as well; jewelry, handmade walking sticks, unique bird houses, handmade shawls and coats and sweaters, wooden signs made while you wait, wind chimes and more.

Before we left, we found a comfortable bench in the sun, and people-watched. That’s part of the fun as well; you never know what (or who) you’ll see. We happened to see a little girl running around on the beach, trying to keep her kite up in the air. She was having a wonderful time, even though her kite was on the sand more than in the air. She asked who we thought was her grandfather to help. An older woman who looked to be in her early 60s, who turned out to be his wife, called for him to bring the little girl off the beach as they were getting ready to go.

As she was right near us, the Crankee Yankee asked if the little girl was her granddaughter. She said that she was actually the mother, and the old man on the beach was her husband. She said, “we started late.” Well, what could we say but congratulations?

As we drove home, we still laughed about that, and then we talked about the food. The seafood festival is so much more than food, though. We see people who come from miles away just to be there, we get to try wonderful seafood and mingle with lots of people, and then there is the ocean, the blue sky and the seagulls.

It’s truly a feast for all the senses.


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