Originally Posted by caseydog
Do you get your clams live and purge them? I love littlenecks, but hate sand. When I'm up there in the right months, I always get some littlenecks, but it is hard to find restaurants that purge their clams.
The littlenecks I get from the seafood store never have any sand in them. My understanding is that most of the littlenecks sold are cultivated and are purged by the suppliers.
Are you thinking of steamers? These soft shelled clams are pretty popular around here, and are dug from mud flats at low tide. They are usually served with a bowl of broth to rinse the meat. I've heard of a variety of purging methods, such as soaking them in changes of salted water, feeding them with corn meal, etc. When I make them at home I put some hot tap water in the sink and put the steamers in for a minute or so immediately prior to cooking them, sloshing them around for a few seconds. The hot water kills them and they open slightly, allowing the grit to come out. It's the most effective method I've found. I don't bother with the broth, as they rarely have any grit in them. I learned that from my brother in law, who had a summer job in a seafood restaurant during his college years.