...is a strange little beastie, even among the world of bivalve mollusks. Being a clam, it has a shell but its shell is of the softer or more brittle variety - in other words pretty darned thin and vulnerable- certainly not like most clams with which I am familiar. The shape of this clam is basically that of a straight edged razor (yeah usually only old timers know about straight edged razors). The type I am speaking about, of clams not straight edged razors, are of the genus Ensis not Siliqua. I bought a bunch of them this evening. They are all about 5 to 6 inches long and look like the ones in this article though they could be the ones in this other article. I saw Andrew Zimmern, of Bizarre Foods, eat them raw on a show recently and picked up the bunch with fine but weird eats in mind. The one he ate was huge compared to the ones i got but they will have to do. I am guessing I got about a pound of them. In that, I am estimating that about 2/3 to 3/4 of the weight is eatable because the shell weighs so little due to how thin it is.
Right after I got home with em, I cracked open my cook book and took a gander at the section on clams. It said to clean razor clams, you snip off the end of the neck (I hope they meant the foot), cut em out of the shell, cut and scoop out the black muck and mire (I am guessing that is the equivalent of clam poop) and cut away other dark parts and then what you are left with is what you eat. The good thing is you don't need to pry or shuck open the shells, they come apart or break apart easily enough by hand. Well, I did all that and what was left was alike to the regular meaty part of a regular clam - just narrower and longer in proportion.
Now once I had done that, what else could I have done but eat it. So there it went through the lips over the gums and after a bit of chewing - look out stomach here it comes. It was absolutely delicious - I mean that - really I do. I love my seafood, and love raw clams and oysters, and now have to say I love these weird looking clams, that remind me of my great-grandfather's straight razor, as well. After one, I had another. Not that one wasn't enough to satisfy my curiosity, well really it wasn't because you can never really tell from just one taste of delicate flavor if it was good or not. Get that - it has a delicate flavor. The flavor is also definitely a clam like taste but something else too, something that I could not figure after just one clam. When I had the second one, I had it figured, it tasted something like a clam and something like an oyster! Mmmmmm that was gooooood, very gooooooooooood!
Despite how good they tasted, I decided to place them into a holding pattern until tomorrow. I have the in-laws coming over tomorrow for Christmas dinner. Yeah, I know, it is a bit late for Christmas. They were supposed to be here the day after Christmas but we got about 14 inches of snow that day and the snow just killed our plans. (Oh my goodness - have I offended a liberal -should I have said the snow just made us change our plans instead of being so violent prone as to have said killed our plans?) Well - whatever - tomorrow I am going to kill some clams and I am guessing my son and my two brothers-in-law are going to help me annihilate them and I don't care whom that offends - I am going to enjoy the little slimy critter as they slide down my throat.
All the best,
One of These is Easy to Get. One is Not.
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