Ninigret Salt Pond


Who created the traditional New England clambake?

The Narragansett and Niantic Native American nations were the inventors of the New England clambake. When preparing seafood that was going to be eaten immediately, the native people dug a pit that they lined with stones. A fire was built on top of the stones. When the fire had burned down to cinders and ashes, a thick layer of damp seaweed was placed on top of the now red-hot stones. Alternating layers of clams, potatoes, lobsters, and corn in husks were put into the pits, with each layer separated by seaweed. Sometimes oysters, mussels, bluefish, and mackerel were also included. The pits were then covered with a wet animal hide and weighted with stones. The seafood was left to steam for approximately forty-five minutes.