Thursday, June 5, 2008

Local Food

One of the joys of traveling is eating local food in someone else's foodshed. Within the constraints of camping out, we are giving it our best shot. In Portland, we stopped at a farm stand on Sauvie Island for fresh strawberries and picked up a jar of dark bing cherry preserves from local berries (now we are trying to figure out how to get more of it). Headed for the coast from Portland, our first stop was the Tillamook Creamery, to show my youngest son the intricate conveyor system they use for packaging the cheese and to pick up lots of squeaky cheese (cheese curds, which Tillamook only sells at the creamery); while we were there, we also succumbed to some Tillamook ice cream, which was worth it.

On the coast, we of course need to eat seafood, so we stopped at a seafood place on a pier near Bay City (Pacific Oysters) and tried a variety of items. We agreed that oysters on the half-shell aren't our favorites, at least not when they are so big that they require two or more bites to eat; we actually prefer Rocky Mountain oysters. The crab and shrimp disappeared quickly, and we made it half way through a bucket of clams before we were too full to eat any more. The hit was the clam chowder, which was so good that we got some to go for later. On the way back, we picked up several pints of Washington cherries from a roadside stand and ate them the rest of the way to the campground and all evening; my kids ate so many that I can't understand why they don't get sick, but they don't. Now they know more about what grows out here, and they have a series of tastes to help them remember the Oregon coast.

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