Fall for Food
Dig in to these seasonal, regional favorites.
By Janice Wald Henderson
Is any sight more glorious than fall foliage? Just one: fall food. Crisp juicy apples. Berries, pears, and beets. Lobster — luscious lobster — the pièce de résistance of Northeast sails. Both on board and on shore, here’s where to deliciously celebrate our seasonal regional American bounty, coast to coast.
We’re so darn lucky that Pacific Northwest waters still teem with salmon. (In fall, it’s primarily coho.) On vessels such as American Queen Steamboat Company’s American Empress plying the Columbia and Snake rivers, itineraries feature an Astoria, Oregon, excursion to a cooking class at Oregon State University Seafood Research & Education Center. Become a quick expert on the different salmon species, and learn how to filet and prepare the wild delicacy. Then, yum, sample delish fish with Northwest wines.
We Heart Lobster
Hop on a working lobster boat via excursions from ships such as Regent’s Seven Seas Navigator in Portland, Maine. Learn about the daily life of a lobster fisherman —and some quirky facts, too. (For instance, it turns out that lobsters, like right- and left-handed humans, have a dominant claw.) Help pull lobsters from traps, see how they’re sorted into categories (hard shells, shedders, shorts — who knew?), and get up close with other sea life caught in baskets, such as urchins and starfish.
In Bar Harbor, Maine, some excursions feature similar lobster boat excursions but with a homey twist. Here, the captain is a retired chef who shares his favorite recipes. Now that’s handy, especially if you’re mulling over shipping live lobsters or replicating lobster bakes back home.
The above is swell, but eating fresh-caught lobster is what makes autumn cruises awesome. Ships visiting New England harbor towns and cities offer outings to coastal resorts and restaurants where experts prepare authentic lobster bakes. Think fresh lobsters steamed in gargantuan pots with potatoes, corn, and clams. Yes, you’ll wear a corny plastic bib, but picking….
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Photo: Isabella Cassini/Alamy