Pismo Beach, Faux Clam Capital of California
This week's edition of the LA Times Magazine
includes an article about various small towns in California that claim to be capitals for various types of food, such as Gilroy 'the garlic capital of the world', or Yuba City 'the prune capital of the U.S.' The article includes this description of Pismo Beach
, which claims to be the clam capital of California:
Call it the ultimate bait and switch. The clams disappeared from this thriving seaside town, almost exactly halfway between San Francisco and L.A., about 30 years ago. Over-clamming tourists and gorging sea otters did the dirty deed. But did the city fathers of this middle-class destination resort promptly notify the governor, alert the media, then shift their promotional emphasis to, say, the annual profusion of monarch butterflies?
No way. They began importing clams from the East Coast and elsewhere, erected a few diversionary clam sculptures, kept their annual two-day Clam Festival on the fall calendar and certainly didn't discourage citizens from continuing with their clam-themed motels and seafood restaurants. You can either (1) protest this blatant hokum by patronizing nearby Avila Beach or San Luis Obispo, or (2) go along happily with the hoax by stopping at bistros such as Brad's, the Cracked Crab and Splash Cafe for some of the best clam chowder this side of--oh, never mind.
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