CAMBRIDGE — Downtown Cambridge plays host to the 14th annual Taste of Cambridge at 5 p.m. Saturday, July 13, on Poplar and Race streets.
The street festival, which hosts more than 2,000 attendees annual, features a slate of participating restaurants and dish entries.
This year’s edition includes some interesting additions like the Snakehead fish category. Snakehead fish have quickly become a staple in local Dorchester County waterways, especially in the Blackwater watershed where fish are known to spawn up to three times a year and protect their eggs. Anglers are coming from all over the mid-Atlantic region to fish for this slippery creature, and some liken the meat to local striped bass or otherwise known as Rockfish.
“The name isn’t too appealing, but we hear the fish is delicious. It’s now showing up on local restaurant menus and we wanted to help introduce it to more folks hoping it would encourage them to try it out and draw attention to the local delicacy” Downtown Cambridge Katie Clendaniel said, “Blue Crab still remains the focus of the cook-off”.
The Taste of Cambridge also will host a panel of three judges, including Dorchester County native Kevin Scott, and Chesapeake culinary cookbook and television personality John Shields. The third judge is Chef Mary Kiernan, now a professor at Syracuse University, owned and operated Elm Street Café and Catering in Cortland, N.Y. and worked as catering manager of the Carrier Dome — a 48,000- seat sports complex.
The judge’s panel make up a blind tasting of each dish and award a set of Judge’s Choice winner in each category. Judges are not told where each dish comes from and select their favorite in each category based on scoring of flavor, presentation and more.
Categories at this year’s Crab Cook-Off include crabcake/ball, crab soup, crab dip, crab specialty, and in addition will feature Snakehead Fish entries in a separate category.
The street festival is free, but you must have a ticket to taste all the dishes. Ticket holders redeem their ticket on the day of the event for a special tasting ballot. Ticket holders taste, compare and vote for their favorite in each category. The ballots are then tallied up following the event and winners are awarded People’s Choice awards in each dish category.
Tickets to Taste of Cambridge are $30 in advance or $35 at the event, based on availability. Tickets normally sell out on the day of the event and organizers recommend purchasing tickets in advance.
More information including participants, categories, schedule of events, and how to buy tickets can be found at www.downtowncambridge.org or call Downtown Cambridge at 443-477-0843.