The Cape Cod Experience, Massachusetts
Cape Cod is a small place (region) encompassing the County of Barnstable located in the eastern most portion of the State of Massachusetts, USA.
Its economy is driven by Tourism and the primary industries are retail and services. Marine life is abundant here and Cape Cod is famous for its beautiful pristine beaches. No wonder it is a tourist spot especially during the summer months. However, the beaches are not the only reason you should visit Cape Cod. There are certainly other interesting places and a dozen more reasons to visit this quaint American town.
This summer I had the opportunity to experience the beauty of Cape Cod. The adventure began with my barefoot feeling the soft sand and grassy dunes while on a quiet beach walk, enjoying the scenic Cape Cod and admiring the beautiful homes by the seaside. It is rejuvenating up there. It certainly is a nice, refreshing place to be.
Cape Cod also boast about the freshest seafoods they have to offer. I love seafoods and I had the most scrumptious lobsters for a very reasonable price at the harbor side, complete with a live band set up in a very relaxing atmosphere. Dining at the Cape Cod is best experience by the waterside against the backdrop of a moonlit ocean and a parade of boat lights fading into darkness.
Cape Cod Attractions
There’s more to discover in Cape Cod than just the pristine beaches. You’ll be surprised to find out that this small town is actually bustling with activities during the summer season -day and night. And with its’ brilliant coastline, you can just imagine a great venue for peace and tranquility when summer is gone.
On my itinerary:
1. JFK Museum
2. Cape Cod Melody Tent
4. Scenic overlooks, gardens and other historic sites
5. Whale Watch
6. Commercial Street
7. Cape Cod Potato Chips Factory
I hopped on and off to make the most of my short visit in Cape Cod. I didn’t want to miss the famous JFK museum, which happens to be few minutes walk away from the hotel where I was staying. The museum displayed the interesting life of the Kennedy’s at the Cape Cod, which is certainly worth a visit whether or not you’re a JFK fan.
The lighthouses, those structures when they emit lights emits drama on the water. There's just something magical from the rays of light that comes from the lighthouses, from its lamps and lenses that aids the maritime pilots in their navigation.
They said no trip to Cape Cod is complete without going through the whale watching tour off the coast and so, mine wasn’t complete because you bet, I missed it! Dang!
However, I managed to squeeze in the schedule and dropped by one of the most interesting attractions in the area- the famous Cape Cod Potato Chips Company. This Potato Chips Factory is one of Cape Cod’s top tourist destinations with around 250,000 visitors annually, which now include yours truly.
Did you know?
The Cape's population triples in the summertime.
Like a school kid curious and excited to go on educational field trip, I joined the group of tourists and began my walk of the 800 square feet store kitchen located on the West Main Street in Hyannis, Massachusetts, of course with my camera on hand. Alas, no photos allowed inside the production department. But, who would have not enjoyed seeing how your favorite potato chip is being prepared and cooked?
Plus, of course at the end of the tour, I had a delightful try of the freshly cooked potato chips and a couple of bags free for me to take home. Freebies, I love freebies!
Did you know?
Potato chips are the number 1 snack food in America! Americans eat about 1.2 billion pounds of potato chips in a year. That's about $6 billion in product.
A bit About the Cape Cod Potato Chips Factory
The Cape Cod Potato Chips Company started as a small family owned business. When Stephen and Lynn Bernard began operating the Cape Cod Potato Chip factory their goal was to make the best potato chip possible. Now after 32 years, their goal remains the same – “To make the best possible chips possible.”
The Cape Cod Potato Chips Company began its operation in July 1980 with only few people making 200 bags a day of their “kettle-cooked process”. It has grown since then and at present is now producing 350,000 bags a day. That’s a lot of potato chips!
Have you been to Cape Cod?
The potatoes-where do they come from?
Fresh Potatoes are seasonal crop, which are available only in certain areas at certain times. To ensure that Cape Cod Potatoes are obtained at the peak of their freshness, their potatoes come from different areas of the United States like Newport Area, Maine, Upstate New york, Western Mass, New Brunswick, Hasting Area, North Carolina, Easter Shore, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, Portsmouth & South County Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
The Making of the Potato Chips
The Cape Cod potato chips have no added preservatives and are all natural except for the special flavors added like cheese, BBQ, sour-cream. Hence, producing a much healthier potato flavor.
1. The making of the Cape Cod potato chips starts with unloading the potatoes from the truck to check for their specific gravity, potato temperature, size by grading and raw potato defect level. The factory will then conduct a fry test, in which a random sampling of the potatoes in each load will then be cored, peeled and then fried to determine how the potato will chip. When this process is done, the truck of potato will then be given a consideration for final acceptance.
2. Once the potatoes have left the inspection and storage bins, they are peeled with brush peeler and then each potato will go through the Inspection Trim Conveyor for a thorough inspection. The peeled potatoes are then washed and accurately weighed into small batches for the kettles.
3. Next step after weighing the potatoes is to slice and put the potatoes directly into unique kettle fryers. While in the kettles, the potatoes are stirred to guarantee an even cook and to reduce the potatoes from sticking together. Once the potatoes turned golden brown, they are transferred from the kettle to a centrifuge to spin off excess oil.
4. Finally, the freshly cooked potato chips are individually inspected again by hand and salted except for the no salt varieties. The salter is located on top of the inspection table. The best part, all discarded chips are considered organic waste and then recycled to the farmers for animal feed.
Packaging the potato chips is actually fun to watch. The final products are then conveyed directly into the machine. They look like conveyors that you see at the airport except that there’s no heavy luggage or big bags moving along but bags of potato chips.
The Cape Cod Potato Chips Company bags over 80,000 packages a day. Wow! The machine capable of doing this can fill 40 to 80 bags a minute. That’s amazing! The packaging of the potato chips is done on a vertical position to ensure an accurate fill - the machines are all computerized. The bags are then stamped with the code, date and shift it was produced.
Once the potato chips are bagged, they passed through by the Quality Control technicians whose job is to check the appearance of the bag, weight, air leaks and any breakage. The final products in the bag are now placed into a carton ready for delivery.
Some Potato Facts~
- It takes approximately 4 pounds of potatoes to make a pound of potato chips because potato is mostly water.
- After wheat, corn and rice, potatoes are the world's fourth food staple.
- Potatoes were grown even in space (in 1995) and are grown in more than 125 countries.
- Indigenous people living in the Andes Mountains of Peru first ate potatoes more than 6,000 years ago.
- Potato chips are called “crisps” in Great Britain and chips means "French Fries". Hence, Fish & Chips.
Where in the world is Cape Cod?
Cape Cod is located in the eastern most portion of the state of Massachusetts in the region of the New England, USA.
Copyright@CrisSp~TM/08-2012. Fearless but not Heartless!
Other travel related hubs by the author:
© 2012 CrisSp