There may be more ways to eat clams than shrimp. Sorry, Forrest Gump.
●The simplest way is to eat them raw (live!). Use a fork, or just slurp from the shell. A dab of cocktail sauce enhances the experience. Some
people like squirts of lemon juice or Tabasco sauce
● Fried clams, either "whole bellies" or clam strips (without the scary
parts) are probably the most popular. Use tartar sauce or cocktail sauce, or mix them together
● Clams are often steamed above boiling water, or a mixture that
includes wine or beer, or just beer, and dipped in clam broth or melted
butter, or both. (I prefer steamed littlenecks to soft-shell "steamers").
● Clams are often minced, mixed with breadcrumbs and seasonings and stuffed back in the shells and baked. My favorite variation is the spicy stuffed quahog found on and around Cape Cod, in Massachusetts. New England neighbor Rhode Island is home of the similar stuffy. Baked stuffed clams -- if done right -- may be a decent alternative to stuffed quahogs if you're off Cape Cod. You can get pretty good baked stuffed clams at lots of restaurants, and at Costco -- nuke them in your
microwave and then broil them a bit to make top crispy.
●Clams can be stuffed into ravioli, fish, turkey, shrimp and mushrooms.
●Smoked clams, according to Amazon.com, are rich, delicate, and deeply smoky, these tiny baby clams make a delightful snack or appetizer. Add to creamy chowders or serve on canapé toasts, garnished with a zesty tropical salsa.
●Lots of people like to stick their potato chips (or fingers) into a bowl of clam dip. You can make it or buy it.
●Clam chili is like chili con carne, but made with chopped clams, not
carne. I had it once in Portland, Maine, and didn't like it. I might try it
again in another restaurant.
●Clams Casino, like baked stuffed clams, are eaten from the shell.
They're juicy, not dry, and made with bacon, bits of pepper, garlic and
onion, and whole -- not chopped -- clams. Uninformed people put the
Casino name on baked stuffed clams with bacon on top. We've had
SUPERB clams casino brick oven pizza to Al Dente restaurant on
Bridgeport Avenue in Milford CT. Call 203 878-2727. Wonderful pasta
There is a magical connection between clams and Italians: dishes like zuppa de clams, clams posillipo, linguini (or linguine) with white or red clam sauce, clam pizza, and clams fra diavolo are heavenly. The Italian word for clams is vongole ("von yolay" -- or "vonjoly" in the Bronx). Photo above shows clams posillipo at Patsy's in Manhattan. Patsy's is on my (clam) bucket list.