Clams

Clams

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

There are many different kinds of saltwater bivalves called clams, the word being an American term for a shell that closes tightly. North America is the place to appreciate clams. But there are similar and equally fine varieties of clam to be found elsewhere in the world. In France, you may be offered clovisses, palourdes or praires; in Italy, vongole or tartufidi mare; in Spain, almejas or margaritas; while in Australia cockles and pipis are to be found on the seashores and in fish markets.

Clams are available fresh all the year round; they can also be bought tinned or bottled in a liquid brine. The giant Pacific clam, with its tough flesh, is usually minced (ground) and tinned or frozen for use in soups etc., mainly for consumption on the Asian market.

Fresh clams are best eaten raw with just a squeeze of lemon juice, like oysters. The Italians use tiny clams as a sauce with pasta; the Japanese eat them raw and in soups; and New England Clam Chowder is an international dish. They are a good addition to risotto and fritters, or they can be stewed in their own juices in a thick tomato sauce for serving with pasta.

Clams are opened much like mussels or oysters – a flat knife is inserted between the 2 shells in front of the muscle that holds them together; then they are dipped in water to remove sand. They may also be steamed open.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

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