Eat 'em raw (live)


Raw clams may not be good for your health. Clams eat by
filtering up to 20 gallons of water each day, and they can
accumulate bacteria and viruses if they live in polluted water.

People with diabetes or impaired immune systems, or chronic liver, gastrointestinal or kidney disease, or alcoholism, have a high risk of serious illness from eating contaminated clams.

Cooking clams to an internal temperature of 140 degrees
Fahrenheit will kill nearly all bacteria. Steamed clams are often cooked for only a minute or two, and don't get hot enough to kill bacteria. Steam them for at least six minutes. (From

It's been said that the bravest man in the
history of the world was the first guy who ate a
clam (or maybe it was an oyster or a lobster,
but who cares?).

Anyway, when I was a kid, the only clams I had
ever eaten were fried clam strips, and I didn't
know they could be prepared in any other way.

One time I was waiting for a bus to take me
back to college from the Port Authority
Terminal on Eighth Avenue in New York City.  I
was hungry, and nearly broke, and went
across the street to a dive to order a cheap
meal. I was relieved to see they had clams on
the menu, at a price I could afford; so I placed
my order.

I expected a plate of familiar golden-brown
fried clam strips, but instead was presented
with a dozen squiggly, slimy, quivering wet
things on the half shell; and a bottle of hot
sauce and a piece of lemon. I was staring at
the scariest food I had ever seen. (This was
before Klingon food was shown on Star Trek.)

Joe's Bar was not a place where a college kid
could survive sending a dish back to the
kitchen, and I was hungry and now broke.

Somehow I got up the courage to swallow one
of the disgusting slimy gray things, and I liked
it. I still do.

(left)  This story and more  than 100 other mostly hysterically funny tales spanning 55 years are in Stories I'd Tell My Children (but maybe not until they're adults). In hardcover, paperback and ebook formats. Bestseller! CLICK​

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