Week 32: Steamers

15 Aug

I grew up in Rhode Island where clam cakes and chowder, fish and chips, and quahogs are popular dishes. My family didn’t eat a lot of fish, though, so aside from fish and chips, chowder, and frozen fish fillets, I didn’t try a lot of local seafood. When I got older I tried lots of different seafood dishes, and although I’ve had clams, I’d never had steamers.

Steamers are soft-shell clams and are also called softshells or longnecks. According to wikipedia, soft-shell clams “live buried in the mud on tidal mudflats. They are well-known as a food item on the coast of New England in the Western Atlantic Ocean, however the range extends much farther north to Canada and south to the Southern states.” Wikipedia describes steamers as “steamed soft-shell clams” and says they are an “integral part of the New England clam bake, where they are served steamed whole in the shell, then pulled from the shell at the table and dipped, first in the clam broth in which they were cooked, to rinse away sand, and then in melted butter.” And that is exactly how I tried them.

They were very similar to mussels, I thought, and just really tasted like the butter they’d been dipped in. The consistency was very much like mussels, a little squishy and chewy.  They were pretty good, but I they aren’t the best seafood dish I’ve ever had. In fact, I think I’d rather have mussels. But, anyway, I was glad to try them even if they didn’t rock my seafood world.

Photo courtesy of ExperienceLA


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