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Culinary tourism is one of the current “hot” things to do when visiting a new destination. With the trend towards “farm to table” the traveling public has developed a penchant for exploring farms, farmstands, microbreweries, and unique purveyors of locally grown products whenever they visit a new place. Cape Cod has warmly embraced this trend, I’m happy to say, and hence there is no shortage of great places to explore during your stay at our bed and breakfast inn if you want to have an authentic culinary experience.
Rich and I did a culinary tour on a recent visit to Vermont. Our travels took us to a maple farm where we learned the maple sugaring process; Cabot Creamery to see cheese being made; Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream to tour the factory where the makers of Cherries Garcia got their start; and to Stave Puzzles where devious artisans create unique and challenging wooden jigsaw puzzles. It was a blast. We’re still talking about it weeks later, entertaining our guests with stories of “sugaring off” and other trivia gained on our culinary adventure.
So it seems perfectly fitting that we should offer our version of “Culinary Cape Cod”. Here among the beaches and scrub pine is a veritable gold mine of home grown producers and beverage purveyors who are as eager to share their wares with guests as guests are to learn about, and perhaps sample, them.
So let us begin by quenching our thirst:
Cape Cod Beer, 1336 Phinney’s Lane, Hyannis, (508) 790-4200. Guided tours available Tuesdays at 11:00 AM and Saturdays at 1:00PM year round. Self-guided tours available during regular retail hours: Monday-Friday, 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Saturday, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Closed Sundays.
Truro Vineyards, 11 Shore Road (Route 6A), North Truro, (508) 487-6200. Open for tours and tastings. Weekends in April, November-December; 7 days a week May-October. Noon to 5:00 PM
Cape Cod Winery and Vineyard, 681 Sandwich Road, East Falmouth, (508) 457-5592. Open for tastings. Weekends spring and fall; Wednesday through Sunday in July and August. 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
In the mood for a jam session?:
Chatham Jam and Jelly Shop, 10 Vineyard Avenue, West Chatham, (508) 945-3052. Tastings encouraged. Retail shop open in the summer Monday through Saturday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Open weekends in the winter, spring, and fall. Call to confirm.
Green Briar Jam Kitchen, 6 Discovery Hill Road, East Sandwich, (508) 888-6870. Open mid-April through December, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Saturday; and 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Sunday. January to mid-April, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Tuesday through Saturday. Jam making workshops offered March through October. Call for schedule.
Herbal, Medicinal, and Botanical Remedies:
Cedar Spring Herb Farm, 159 Long Pond Drive, Harwich. (508) 430-HERB. Herb specialty shop offering organic herbal products, organically grown culinary, medicinal and decorative plants, and related botanical products. Open May 15 to November 15, Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Winter hours by appointment.
Cape Cod Lavender Farm, Island Pond Road, Harwich. (508) 432-8397. Visit this 12-acre farm when the lavender is in bloom, typically late June through July. Lavender plants and products for sale in the gift shop.
Atlantic Spice Company, 2 Shore Road, North Truro. (800) 316-7965. Offering quality culinary herbs and spices, teas, dehydrated vegetables, nuts, seeds, botanicals, essential oils, spice blends, potpourri ingredients and fragrance oils at wholesale prices. Open Monday through Friday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Saturday: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM; and
Sunday: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Down on the Farm:
Coonamessett Farm, 277 Hatchville Road, East Falmouth. (508) 563-2560. Pick your own berries, herbs, and vegetables. Feed the chickens. Visit alpacas, sheep, donkeys, ducks, guinea hens and turkeys. Farm stand open weekends in April, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Sunday, May through September, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and in the fall, Wednesday through Sunday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. On-site café serving soup, sandwiches, salads and baked goods. Farm stand and gift shop. In season: Jamaica grill and buffet night every Wednesday, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM; Friday night farm dinners from 5:00 to 8:00 PM; and special Saturday night buffets. Call for details.
Food for Thought:
Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory, 100 Breeds Hill Road, Hyannis. (888) 881-CHIP (2447). Self-guided tours offered Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Gustare Oils & Vinegars, 425 Main Street, Chatham. (508) 945-4505. Sample imported extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world. Open Friday through Sunday, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.