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Old 01-25-2013, 10:07 PM   #1
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Letting clams sit in fresh water for around an hour before cooking. Yes or no?

Should you let clams sit in fresh water for a while after you leave them a few hours in salt water and let them purge? I read that this makes them less salty and lets you appreciate the flavor more, specially eaten raw.

What are your thoughts on this?

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Old 01-25-2013, 10:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
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Should you let clams sit in fresh water for a while after you leave them a few hours in salt water and let them purge? I read that this makes them less salty and lets you appreciate the flavor more, specially eaten raw.

What are your thoughts on this?
Now as crazy as this may sound to some, the clams will drown in plain water. Then you will have dead clams on your hands and can not eat them. If you want to purge them, put cornmeal or oatmeal in the salt water. The whole experience of eating clams is that they taste of the sea. Would you eat hamburger or pork without any salt? Clams live mostly below the sand. Not in the water except to eat. When folks go clamming, they go at low tide. They have to dig deep to find them. No fresh water.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:25 PM   #3
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I would go along with Addie.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:35 PM   #4
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Thank you DG. As a New Englander who has always lived within walking distance of the sea, I know for whence I talk. Any seashell animal from the sea will drown in fresh water. It is a different type of air than what is found in sea water. If yo could see the equipment that is used to harvest shell fish, you would understand. You sometimes have to go down at least two feet to find the clams. As kids during the war, meat was rationed. So we would go down to the beach at low tide and fill up a bucket with clams. I thought it was fun then. I didn't know I was doing hard work. I think we ate more lobsters and clams than meat.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:55 AM   #5
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I've never heard of putting oatmeal or cornmeal in the water when purging clams. What does that do?
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:08 AM   #6
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I always purge clams in salted water. Sometimes I'll add coarse corn meal. Clams are filter-feeders. The corn meal helps to purge them of sand quicker. Much rather bite into a clam with corn meal in its gut than sand.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:15 AM   #7
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as craid said, they suck in the cornmeal and spit out sand they
may have in their shells, as if they were feeding.

this way you don't get gritty bits in your clams as cornmeal is grainy but soft.

and having done the fresh water vs. salt water thing, i agree with addie. the saltwater taste better.

although it doesn't kill them in an hour. you'd have to submerge them in fresh water for several hours for some of them to start to die.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:21 AM   #8
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Great info all.
This is for wild caught clams, right?
I've never had to purge or debeard any I have bought in a store. They are usually advertised as cleaned and I've never gotten any grit with them.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:23 AM   #9
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My experience with clams and mussels is that cultured ones are relatively grit free and need no purging. Those harvested in the wild need a purging. I do it with salt water and a little corn meal.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:24 AM   #10
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Great info all.
This is for wild caught clams, right?
I've never had to purge or debeard any I have bought in a store. They are usually advertised as cleaned and I've never gotten any grit with them.
You beat me to it.
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