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Old 12-03-2017, 11:45 AM   #1
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Do you purge your live clams before preparing them?

If so what method do you use to purge?
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:30 PM   #2
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The littlenecks I buy are cultured and don't need purging. When I buy steamers, they usually have sand in them. Immediately before cooking, I put them in hot tap water in the sink and slosh them around for a few seconds. The hot water makes the shell open slightly and allows the sand to come out. I learned that trick from my brother in law, who worked in a seafood restaurant during his college days.
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:33 PM   #3
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I don't, because I don't mind a little bit of sand. Also my memories of clambakes were generally done on a beach where we at best rinsed them with some seawater, and buried them in a pit with coals and seaweed.

However, that being said, I have heard theories that holding clams in cold tap water for a half hour makes them give up their sand. I can see because of how osmosis works, water would be going in and plumping them, possible expelling sand.

I like my clams to be rather briny, and accept a certain amount of sand in the mouth as a condition I just have to deal with.

Know a guy from NC who soaks his clams for a half hour in a water and cornmeal solution. I'm not sure if I would go there without more information, but he swears by it.

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Old 12-03-2017, 12:34 PM   #4
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When I make clams, I get them from one of the Asian markets. They’re live and kept in running water, so there’s no need to purge. I’ve never had a grain of sand or a nasty bit of clam poop. (Is clam poop a thing?) If that option is not available, you can purge your clams in a bowl, under running water for about thirty minutes. If I’m wrong on this, please correct me!
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:37 PM   #5
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I don't, because I don't mind a little bit of sand. Also my memories of clambakes were generally done on a beach where we at best rinsed them with some seawater, and buried them in a pit with coals and seaweed.

However, that being said, I have heard theories that holding clams in cold tap water for a half hour makes them give up their sand. I can see because of how osmosis works, water would be going in and plumping them, possible expelling sand.

I like my clams to be rather briny, and accept a certain amount of sand in the mouth as a condition I just have to deal with.

Know a guy from NC who soaks his clams for a half hour in a water and cornmeal solution. I'm not sure if I would go there without more information, but he swears by it.

Yours,

T (E-F)
A real, honest-to-God clambake is on my bucket list. On the beach, in a pit dug by me and my friends, with s’mores afterwards (I really don’t like them, but when in Rome…).
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:50 PM   #6
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Try S-mores with saltines instead of graham crackers. Big taste difference.
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:54 PM   #7
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It seems it would be very hard to find a beach that would allow a fire?
Oh...I don't purge the clams. Just a quick scrub with a veggie brush and rinse off.
I do not want to lose any of the brine.
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:54 PM   #8
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A real, honest-to-God clambake is on my bucket list. On the beach, in a pit dug by me and my friends, with símores afterwards (I really donít like them, but when in RomeÖ).
It is a glorious thing, do it right and it involves also a big arse bonfire, and everyone sleeping in tents and sleeping bags on the beach.

Bonfire is to heat up the rocks, which hot rocks are better than coals, then you layer seaweed, hot rocks, corn ears in the husk, lobsters, clams, artichokes (seem counterintuitive but it works), more hot rocks, etc.. in a nice pit. Oh and while gathering rocks for it, you can make popers, which are packets of the rock snails with butter and garlic wrapped in tin foil which you put in the heat of the bonfire for a while until they stew and pick the snails out with toothpicks as an appetizer, while you wait for everything else to steam.

Always bring twice as much beer, ice, and butter as you think you need. And someone always forgets to bring a pot for the butter.

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Old 12-03-2017, 12:57 PM   #9
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It seems it would be very hard to find a beach that would allow a fire?
Cape Cod National Seashore has fire permits, first come first serve, they give out three or four a weekend. Couple places in NJ, Alaire State Park used to, haven't been down to MD Eastern Shore.

Lots of seashores are good as long as you bring your own wood, and leave everything clean.

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Old 12-03-2017, 01:06 PM   #10
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It is a glorious thing, do it right and it involves also a big arse bonfire, and everyone sleeping in tents and sleeping bags on the beach.

Bonfire is to heat up the rocks, which hot rocks are better than coals, then you layer seaweed, hot rocks, corn ears in the husk, lobsters, clams, artichokes (seem counterintuitive but it works), more hot rocks, etc.. in a nice pit. Oh and while gathering rocks for it, you can make popers, which are packets of the rock snails with butter and garlic wrapped in tin foil which you put in the heat of the bonfire for a while until they stew and pick the snails out with toothpicks as an appetizer, while you wait for everything else to steam.

Always bring twice as much beer, ice, and butter as you think you need. And someone always forgets to bring a pot for the butter.

TBS (E-F)
Sounds absolutely wonderful! I’m waiting for the invite!
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Old 12-03-2017, 01:07 PM   #11
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Try S-mores with saltines instead of graham crackers. Big taste difference.
That’s something I never thought of! The salt would temper the sweetness of those ubiquitous chocolate bars and the marshmallows. BRILLIANT
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Old 12-03-2017, 01:33 PM   #12
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I soak them in saltwater for a few hours then rinse.
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Old 12-03-2017, 02:08 PM   #13
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I soak them in saltwater for a few hours then rinse.
What kind of salt and what ratio to water?
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Old 12-03-2017, 03:33 PM   #14
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However, that being said, I have heard theories that holding clams in cold tap water for a half hour makes them give up their sand. I can see because of how osmosis works, water would be going in and plumping them, possible expelling sand.
It's not because of osmosis, which has no effect on sand, and you need salt water for osmosis to work.

As the clams soak in clean - i.e., sand-free - salt water, they ingest it. It travels through their digestive system and the sand is expelled that way.

msmofet, it's likely that your clams have already been purged, but you can do this if you're not sure.

"Cover the clams in salt water by 3/4Ė1 1/4 inch. Actual seawater (filtered to remove any sand) is best, of course, but otherwise use sea salt (not regular table salt) and water to a salinity of about 3.5 percent Ė or 35 g (1 1/4 ounces) to every 1 liter*(34 fluid ounces or 4 cups) of water. Fresh water will kill the clams. Try not to shock them to death by changing their temperature too rapidly so keep them somewhere relatively close to their current temperature. If they have been stored chilled (for example, at the fishmongers), then you can use cool water and keep them chilled in the fridge. Otherwise, set them somewhere like in a cool corner of the room."
http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/04/11/purge-clams/
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:28 PM   #15
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Thanks GG. That is the very best instructions I have yet to see regarding clams. At least twice a year during winter, I make New England Clam Chowder. And I haven't killed anyone yet.

No matter what size the shell animal is, you can't go wrong if you follow these instructions. I usually buy two different size clams for the chowder. Steamers and Quahogs. The latter can be tough to eat, so I cut them up small after they are cooked. But they are great for stuffing also. Quahogs are tough to open. Pirate does it like he was just brushing his teeth. So I leave that job to him. I need to buy a quahog knife someday.

I also look at the bag when I pick it up. If any are open, I will tap it. If it fails to close, I will turn the bag so that more clams come to the outside. In the store where I buy my clams, the bags sit on a bed of ice. I pick bags from the bottom of the pile that have been sitting on the ice. I am willing to accept one or two non-closures at most. If more than that, then on to the next bag. I have my large pan ready with the salted water when I arrive home. Bag and clams into the water as soon as they come out of the grocery bag.

If my hankering for clam chowder is stronger than the high price of clams in the middle of winter, I will settle for razor clams for one of the bags. Not my favorite type of clam for any use.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:17 AM   #16
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It's not because of osmosis, which has no effect on sand, and you need salt water for osmosis to work.

As the clams soak in clean - i.e., sand-free - salt water, they ingest it. It travels through their digestive system and the sand is expelled that way.
Osmosis is a tenency for molecules to move from a higher solute concentrated solution through a semi permeable membrane towards equalizing solute levels, right?

But yes, it has little effect on sand, other then the flow of water from them. Got Garlic, shellfish is a treat for me, as my wife, while she is Kosherish, and treats herself when it is fresh, doesn't normally want any shellfish, so I usually only eat them at the beach, right out of the ocean, which I kind of accept a bit of sand, or a lot of sand.

I'd go with GG's perscription for getting those little guys to give up their sand. Makes sense to me.

T
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:26 AM   #17
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Sounds absolutely wonderful! Iím waiting for the invite!
I don't know if I can get back together the same crew as the last one, a bunch of friends from prep school, and we woke up at six in the morning to be first in line to get one of four! beach fire and camp permits at Cape Cod National Seashore.

We had a pit of hot rocks (and brought in a bag of rocks, cape cod is suprisingly sandy), a bonfire, and brought my two burner propane camping rig and cast iron skillets for eggs, fry bread, and to cook up eggplant and squash for the vegans.

A couple of guitars, and some friendly seals joined us. Well, actually, seals are very large and scary, and they bleated at us, but we had fire!, so we held our ground. We negotiated a solid truce.

Full moon night too, fun times.

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Old 12-04-2017, 02:16 AM   #18
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I don't know if I can get back together the same crew as the last one, a bunch of friends from prep school, and we woke up at six in the morning to be first in line to get one of four! beach fire and camp permits at Cape Cod National Seashore.

We had a pit of hot rocks (and brought in a bag of rocks, (Cape Cod is suprisingly sandy), a bonfire, and brought my two burner propane camping rig and cast iron skillets for eggs, fry bread, and to cook up eggplant and squash for the vegans.

A couple of guitars, and some friendly seals joined us. Well, actually, seals are very large and scary, and they bleated at us, but we had fire!, so we held our ground. We negotiated a solid truce.

Full moon night too, fun times.

TBS
And if you go farther north to the lower Cape, you will even find Sand Dunes which are off limits to everyone. They are protected.
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Old 12-04-2017, 02:21 AM   #19
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Sounds absolutely wonderful! Iím waiting for the invite!
Too late in the season. Wait until next summer.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:01 AM   #20
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Osmosis is a tenency for molecules to move from a higher solute concentrated solution through a semi permeable membrane towards equalizing solute levels, right?
Right. But clam bodies are not permeable, so osmosis doesn't apply to this situation. It's not like brining a turkey.

Clams take in seawater, with its plankton, silt, sand and whatever else, through an organ called a siphon. It goes through their digestive system and undigested matter is expelled through another siphon. Some of the sand and other debris remains. To purge the clam of sand and other debris, put it in clean salt water, so it moves clean water through its digestive system and expels whatever remains.

There's a drawing of clam anatomy here:
https://io9.com/5924877/this-clam-is...icking-a-table
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