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Old 03-04-2012, 10:18 AM   #21
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oh, ok, you're steaming small hardshells.

but you can make steamers from hard or softshell (aka piss clams or ipswich) clams.

Soft-shell clam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:51 AM   #22
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How do you purge them?
Don't place them in fresh water. As crazy as it sounds, they will drown. They are used to salt water, not fresh. I usually place them in heavily salted water and use corn meal. They ingest the corn meal and purge themselves. It usually takes about 24 hours. but I only purge them if we are going to be eating them raw. If I am going to be using them for chowder, I just steam them. Anything unpleasant will be expelled, including sand and then you strain the liquor through a coffee filter or cheesecloth. You want that liquor for the chowder.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:24 AM   #23
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oh, ok, you're steaming small hardshells.

but you can make steamers from hard or softshell (aka piss clams or Ipswich) clams.

Soft-shell clam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yes, in theory. But the hard shells are better eaten raw. Quahogs are the largest and only good for chowder or stuffed on the half shell. They tend to be a wee bit tougher. You don't steam them You open them over a bowl to catch the juices and then cut them up. Save and scrub the shells. Mix the quahogs with breadcrumbs and seasoning, strain the liquor and mix in with the breadcrumbs. Place the mixture on the washed shells and bake.

The smaller clams (soft shells) can be eaten raw or used in recipes. We call the soft shell clams 'razor clams.' The shell in very sharp and can give you a nasty cut when you are walking barefoot on the beach. They are a favorite for kids to dig up at the beach because the shell is easy to break and get the clam inside. They tend to reside closer the the surface than other clams. Seagulls also love soft clams. They take them up in the air, then drop them on the rocks. The shell cracks and the seagull has his meal. You can tell if the area is a good one for clamming by the broken shells.

In this state, ALL clams have to be identified as to where they were harvested, the date, and the license number of the digger. They are then placed in a mesh bag, (so the clams can breath) with a tag on them. If anyone is selling them loose where you choose your own, BAD, BAD. The clam industry here is very regulated and with good cause. Eating clams from a bed that has been hit with red tide can cost you your life. Not only the beds but beaches are closed when there is red tide in the area.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:27 PM   #24
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i don't think we're on the same page here.

hardshells are topnecks or littlenecks, cherrystones, or quahogs.

softshells are a slightly different beast, with a notable external siphon and an oval shaped, very thin shell.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:48 PM   #25
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i don't think we're on the same page here.

hardshells are topnecks or littlenecks, cherrystones, or quahogs.

softshells are a slightly different beast, with a notable external siphon and an oval shaped, very thin shell.
Your softshells are our razor clams. Quahogs are the big boys. You can crush the shell of a softshell with your bare feet. But I woudn't recommend it. Quahogs are big and tough.They are treated differently than littlenecks, or cherrystones. Those you can eat raw or steam.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:04 PM   #26
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Don't place them in fresh water. As crazy as it sounds, they will drown. They are used to salt water, not fresh. I usually place them in heavily salted water and use corn meal. They ingest the corn meal and purge themselves. It usually takes about 24 hours. but I only purge them if we are going to be eating them raw. If I am going to be using them for chowder, I just steam them. Anything unpleasant will be expelled, including sand and then you strain the liquor through a coffee filter or cheesecloth. You want that liquor for the chowder.
Thanks, I use a similar method and was asking to see if you did it differently.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:15 PM   #27
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I've never had the quahogs (how do you say that anyway), but they look kinda weird. I have had Pismos (which are large as well). Well, I say, are, because the last time I hit Pismo beach they were gone. Everyone selling clam chowder there admitted the clams were from some other part of the country. When I was young (late 70s) we'd roll up our jeans and rent a pitch-fork type thing that had a place in the handle to measure the clam to make sure you didn't take them too young. Even then it was rare to find one large enough to legally take away.
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:50 PM   #28
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My Mom and I used to go out and catch quohogs near the Sunshine Skyway bridge in Florida. These were like giant cherrystone clams. After steaming open, we'd get 1/3 cup of meat and juice from each one. We ground up the meat with a hand crank grinder and use half for chowder and the other half we made into stuffed clams.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:03 PM   #29
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I've never had the quahogs (how do you say that anyway),...
Here's how I say it. "CO" as in co-worker. And "HOG" as in pig. CO-HOG.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:39 PM   #30
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Here's how I say it. "CO" as in co-worker. And "HOG" as in pig. CO-HOG.
I don't know how you got off on this tangent but I've always thought of "coworkers" as "cow orkers." I've often wondered what it is like to "ork" a cow. I probably wouldn't want to find out.
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