Dig in! Shad Bake Season Is Here

Come June, the allure of fish nailed to planks, cooking in a big circle, brings massive crowds to Connecticut’s shoreline towns.

It’s Connecticut’s famed shad bake – all in honor of the state’s migrating silvery fish. The Connecticut River is famous for the fish, spawning happens here in the spring. They live in the ocean and migrate hundreds of miles by river to freshwater, according to NPR.

It all starts with a teepee made of wooden strips and a fire, according to the Essex Rotary Club.

Then, deboned shad are nailed to oak planks using two strips of salt pork and roofing nails. Shad experts add their secret seasonings, then the fish is stacked around the fire, turned upright, row by row, and cooked.

Essex is holding its shad bake at the Essex Elementary School grounds in Centerbrook on Saturday, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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