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Sunday, 6 November 2011

Bearded Clams

When you have a blog by the name of Kitchenslut you become aware of how much stray traffic may be generated by a post on bearded clams. Albeit, the bearded clam is now an endangered species.

This was evident when Kitchenslut wandered into ISP seafood down in Portsmith and discovered a satchet of clams similar to the way mussels are now sold. This is a product from Cloudy Bay clams of NZ. It was $18.90 for the kilo satchet so a few dollars above the mussels.

The technology for packaging and sale of mussels has been a revolution for that product. Gone are the days when it was a dodgy process of tedious debearding and discarding unopened specimens. My own background here long ago was with local black mussels from the south coast of NSW. Then came the profligate NZ greenlip mussel which is pretty much chook food really as a quality comparison!

However, I took the chance and was rather impressed with this product. Beardless and free of sand I chose a pasta recipe from US celebrity chef Mario Bartoli, the USA being the centre of claminess, with some local adjustments including chilli and lemongrass. Fettucine from Il Convivo provided local content. I must say I was impressed with the outcome. The clams are meaty and really flavoursome and with thenthick shells need longer cooking than a mussel.

This is a good product and I hope to be able to try some more. Perhaps a New England style clam chowder with the excellent local Misty Mountains milk and cream?

P.S. The clams are apparently blanched which I think is a similar process for a molusc as a brazillian for a human?

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