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Jun 28, 2007 06:50 AM

steamer shame

So "steamer" is the actually the name of a soft-shell clam? I'm so ashamed to say that after 10 years here I just found that out...I always thought it simply referred to the preparation.
Durgin Park does 'em well, of course; UOH's are always full of sand. Read the recent praise for Halfway Cafe. What about Barking Crab--are steamers one of the things they can handle, or not?

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  1. aka "piss clams" named because when you walk on one on the beach, it shoots up a stream of liquid..start digging..memories..:)

    I've had good ones at Barking Crab..occassionally sandy but overall good.

    1. The thing that requires patience with steamers is purging the sand...Ugh. It's a crapshoot, I guess, cuz steamers are the only thing I'll eat at UOH besides their raw bar....They're also good, at the bar at the Seawith in Peabody, despite their downhill fall(beyond alert) a few years ago. Since I'm usually so greedy, I tend to do 'em at home... Purge (sprinke corn meal in the water, let them spit out their sand for an hour, then wash a few times..) and steam in a can of beer..Amazing.

      7 Replies
      1. re: galleygirl

        That's our cooking method too.

        Hook's is getting them from Maine now...$5 lb

        1. re: 9lives

          Have to head over! I brought some back from maine last week, and they weren't much cheaper up there; $3.99.

          1. re: galleygirl

            In Seabrook I found steamers for $2.99 a lb. I also do the corn meal purge, but I was doing some grilling and wanted to try a few before doing the steamers and they weren't that gritty at all. Grit doesn't phase me, but I have had them served a few times in restaurants with muck inside.

            Does anybody know how much culls are running at Hooks right now?

            1. re: galleygirl

              While I would be happier to support Hooks, I found some excellent steamers at the local Stop and Shop last week at $3.99/lb. I was in again today and they looked like they came from a different supplier. They were in net bags, and smaller, at $4.99/lb. Still, I was happy to see (and buy) them. Hopefully they will taste as good

              I agree that unless I am out for social reasons or travel, I cook them at home.

              Steaming is easy and results in excellent broth.

          2. re: galleygirl

            How do you get enough of them into the can of beer to make a meal? ;-)

            1. re: newhound

              Summer is the only time I buy beer..;)

            2. Y'know... I had the 1.5# steamers at the Halfway just last night, after hearing a friend rave about 'em... and, I wasn't totally impressed. The clams themselves were larger in size than I prefer, and in the mesh bag were two that were inedible (mud/dead). For the $12, I could have, and will be choosing and steaming my own. No beer & garlic, thank you - just seawater....

              1 Reply
              1. re: okra

                The Chieftan on Route 1 in Plainville serves steamers by the bucket and the place is always jammed with people ordering them. They do a good job, and cook them with spicy linguica. On a funny side note, we had some friends move here from out west. They'd never had steamers before and ordered a bucket. The didn't know to ask, and the waitress never told them, to removed the black "skin" around the neck, and so they swished the whole thing in the clam broth and ate it all, and then scratched their heads wondering why people liked these things when they thought it was pretty gross! We laugh everytime we think of that story!