Spoons Up: Chowder Day Bodega Bay

Lovers of the creamy concoction will make for the seaside town in late January.

EVERY DAY IS CHOWDER DAY: If someone were to ask a claw-craving bivalve buff what day Chowder Day happened to be, we expect that seafood lover to only respond in one way: "When isn't it Chowder Day?" That's not to say that most of us incorporate chowder into our daily menus, or that it is a lunchtime staple in every household. But if you're a seafoodian, there's no way you're not at least thinking of savory stews and clam bakes and rich bowls of creamy, close-to-the-ocean goodness on a regular basis. Because the fact is this: You are. You're daydreaming about your next coastal jaunt, a jaunt that will involve watching gulls and staring at the waves, meditatively, and consuming a bowl or three something that's cream- or tomato-based and packed with clammage.

TURN YOUR DAYDREAMS, dear lovers of aqua-licious eats, to the penultimate day of January, when Bodega Bay, a town that's pretty towering in the whole clam chowder biz, celebrates Chowder Day. Chowder Day observed anywhere is going to make for good 'n delicious times, but in this Pacific-snug burg, which is synonymous with the hot stuff? The good 'n delicious times grow even more so. Saturday, Jan. 30 is the date for Chowder Day Bodega Bay, and a ten-dollar ticket gets you tastes of distinctive, creatively made chowders at a number of locations in the area. Tickets go on sale that morning, at 10 o'clock, but there's a cut-off time -- 2 p.m. -- for tickets to be sold. Who says chowder for a late breakfast or brunch can't be yummy? Chowder people love the steamy stuff regardless of the time on the clock.

IF YOU STOP BY... all the locations ladling up two-ounce tastes, you're in the draw bowl for a prize. That's inspiration enough, yes? Well, truly, the idea of taking in a whole bunch of versions of the classic ocean-y foodstuff is all any seafood fan needs. And they say January gets quiet, food-wise, after the holidays. Not in Bodega Bay, and not in the kitchens of some of the top chowder-makers around.

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