Foodie Friday: Flames Fly at Door County's Traditional Fish Boil
Over the past few years, we've heard all about Traverse City and the rest of Northern Michigan as being a great lakeside summer destination, but few are aware of the peninsula that sits directly west across Lake Michigan in Wisconsin known as Door County. Right, we know what you're thinking. The first thing that comes to mind when someone says "Wisconsin" is winter, and you can get cheese in any supermarket, thank you very much.
This mentality is precisely what makes Door County so enjoyable to visit, the fact that it crushes all your preconceived notions of what Wisconsin is as a state and travel destination. What you'll find during the summer months is a bed-and-breakfast paced community on a peninsula that is comprised of a series of small towns tucked in between dairy farms, wineries, and cherry orchards.
While there are a few bigger properties, small inns and B&Bs are the way to go to soak up the area's personality. One that we can recommend firsthand is the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek, which hosts traditional fish boils four nights a week throughout the summer months. As you can see from the photos, the cooking process is quite a show.
The fish boils are a local Wisconsin tradition, comparable to the low-country boils of the southeast. They were originally developed more than a century ago as a way to mass feed those who worked in the lumber camps. Today, flames fly high in the courtyard of the White Gull Inn as locally caught whitefish is boiled with potatoes (the flames are artificially created for fun with kerosene). The boiling of the fish causes most of the fat to rise to the top, making the meal healthy and removing the "fishy" taste for those seafood skeptics among us.
We just loved this down-home touch from the White Gull Inn, and it's amazing how something as simple as a backyard community cookout can separate a property from the rest of the bunch and add an extra buzz to the air. Can you think of any other properties that host food-driven events? Chime in with your favs from around the States below, and be sure to cook up your own feast this Memorial Day weekend. Cheers!
Rates at the White Gull Inn vary depending on the room but they can range from $160 to $295 a night. A two-night minimum is usually required.
[Photo: White Gull Inn/Hotel Chatter]