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POTUS ordered clam strips on vacation [moved from Boston board]

  • yumyum Aug 27, 2009 01:26 PM

Oh no. I just read that POTUS ordered clam strips on vacation. I died a little inside.

http://www.bostonherald.com/track/ins...

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  1. Nooooooo!!!!!! Not strips!

    13 Replies
    1. re: bear

      Blink. Blink. Strips. Tiny tear rolls down cheek.

      1. re: yumyum

        Western civilization is doomed! Can't someone, anyone reach out and make this right? Does he have a porkmob chowvisor in the cabinet???

        1. re: StriperGuy

          Reach out and call the local health department to shut that restaurant down for selling clam strips, organize a boycott of the restaurant... Call PETA!

          The horror. The horror.

          1. re: dave_c

            Just cause I like saying it again:

            OH THE HUMANITY.

            I wholeheartedly agree. THIS IS A JOB FOR PETA.

            Think of those poor sea clams. What a horrible way to enter the Fryolator.

        2. re: yumyum

          YAY STRIPS! I knew there was a reason I voted for him.

          I realize that most people associate clam strips with Howard Johnson or even worse those horrid rubbery Mrs Paul's things in the freezer case, but it's my experience that anyplace that has good belly clams is also likely to have good strips, and while I have nothing against belly clams (although personally I am not a fan of the humongous-belly variant that you can order at places like the Clam Box), I am also of the opinion that strips are an underrated item that when properly prepared are Very Good Indeed. People who say they're automatically inferior to belly clams are making a false equivalence: you might as well say that shrimp are automatically inferior to scallops. They're just not the same thing.

          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

            You know Barmy, you say a lot of crazy things. But until now nothing that has physically hurt.

            Porkmob!!!

            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

              You sir are clearly not a New Englander. Clam strips are immoral, indecent, irresponsible, irreconcilable, inscrutable, concupiscent, iridescent, and stinky. ;-)

              That said, they really are kind of boring.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                Well, I'm certainly not a New Englander either. My initial reaction to the headline was "so?"

                1. re: chicgail

                  Your chow-credentials are certainly beyond reproach. But it may take me a while to get past the "So" to POTUS ordering clam strips.

                  "OH THE HUMANITY."

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    Nothing for me to do but embrace my own humanity. Thank you for doing the same.

                  2. re: chicgail

                    Me either, though I live there. I've had whole-belly clams a few times, never any raw bivalves. IMO, the bellies are the ocean's septic tank - ugh!
                    Fried clam strips, on the other hand, at places like Farnham's and the Clam Box, are the food of the gods! Another reason to be glad I voted for Obama.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      "the bellies are the ocean's septic tank - ugh!" AMEN! I AM a New Englander by birth (through 15 years of age) and I much prefer a good clam strip to whole clams.

                      As for Obama; as long as he governs responsibly, I don't care what he eats.

                  3. re: StriperGuy

                    Nor is the president a New Englander.

            2. What a stud !!

              8 Replies
              1. re: Sarah

                He really needs to go to The Bite for chowder and clam bellies...

                1. re: Mr Bigglesworth

                  Does anyone know any friends of POTUS? Maybe they can stage an intervention. 5 or 6 close friends telling him that they are concerned, and letting him know that it is NOT OKAY to eat clam strips.

                  There is certainly a Clam Strips Anonymous 12 Step program out there as well. You get a sponsor, one day at a time, start off with very small bellied clams, and work your way up to big gooey monsters. He'll be in recovery in no time.

                  (A minor confession, even I don't like the giant belly ones, too gooey. Though I did once have fried Gooey Duck belly with some hounds and it was pretty tasty.)

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    Friends don't let friends order strips.

                    1. re: yumyum

                      Precisely.

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        Rather ironic that you are Strip (er) Guy, eh... ;-D>

                        1. re: Servorg

                          Touche, though it may not be obvious to non New Englanders my goofy avatar is a Striped Based. Not a Stripped bass. Thus the correct pronunciation.

                          1. re: StriperGuy

                            That excuse sounds a little fishy to me...and I was just trying to be finny in any case... (hard to be too serious in this thread - ya know!) ;-D>

                            1. re: Servorg

                              Bravo.

              2. I am sitting here imagining the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments that would occur if POTUS told YOU all what to eat.

                17 Replies
                1. re: small h

                  ummmmm. They want to tax foods they don't approve of - like soft drinks. A way to control behavior and "tell you what to eat."
                  Just saying....

                  1. re: MakingSense

                    That's my point. There's a lot of push-back in response to that sort of "nanny state" legislation.

                  2. re: small h

                    If I was heading to Chicago, I would surely take his advice. When I stray afield, as any serious hound does, first thing I do is check out what the locals recommend.

                    Your gnashing of teeth comment is WAY wide of the mark and entirely missing the point.

                    1. re: StriperGuy

                      Plus, POTUS seems to have a good sense of humor and a true love of good chow, so I think he'd get a kick out of our reactions. Granted, he has enough non-frivolous stuff on his plate!

                      By the way, this was originally posted on the Boston board, where people have endless discussions about the best clams...big vs. small belly, who does the best fry job or has the crispest crumb, etc. Too bad it got moved.

                      1. re: bear

                        Maybe he ordered them,but didn't eat them. Are there any witnesses to his actually eating said mollusk part? If he did indeed eat them, did he enjoy them? A congressional hearing is in order.

                        1. re: alphavulcan

                          He was picking up an order for a large group of people with a single order of clam strips among many other items. I think there's a good chance they weren't for the POTUS himself.

                          1. re: mpjmph

                            I'm sorry. The POTUS went out to get the pick-up order for the gang at the local seafood joint? Really? Everyone else was too busy?

                            1. re: chicgail

                              According to all the news coverage, yes. He was there, he ordered, and he left with "nine orders of fried shrimp; two orders of fried calamari; six medium boxes of French fries; some clam strips; two orders of fried scallops; two containers of cole slaw; and a falafel plate."

                              That's certainly more food than he alone, or even the first family alone, can eat. I'm sure the trip was a photo-op to some extent, but considering he's on vacation w/ family and friends in a reasonably secure/isolated community that doesn't bat at eye at famous people, it doesn't seem strange to me that he would pick up dinner.

                              1. re: mpjmph

                                Yum. My mouth is watering at the thought of how much fun that dinner was. Wish I had been invited.

                        2. re: bear

                          Yes, and this is really a New England specific reaction. But I agree. I think if we were out for a beer, The POTUS might just ask a friendly local what to order.

                          1. re: StriperGuy

                            This is going to sound crazy, I know, but maybe he just doesn't like clam bellies.

                            1. re: StriperGuy

                              If POTUS is like previous ones, and other important public figures with "handlers," he DOES have people who tell him what to eat. Unfortunately, as you can see here, their decisions are often weighted with all kinds of implications, ranging from disrespect for local traditions to plain bad taste.
                              Remember when Kerry order the wrong kind of cheese on his Philly cheesesteak? OMG! The end of the world for some locals.

                              Advance staff prepare detailed reports on the places where principals will eat, the history, why it's important, owners' names, etc. Also what they are expected to order and how to order it in the proper way. The people with them brief them on the way over.
                              This is not left to chance, nor has it ever been considered "frivolous" - even before today's crazy media environment.
                              If the principal orders something else, or has bad advance work, well....

                              In this case, perhaps Obama grew up eating at HoJo's. Strip clams are what most non-New Englanders knew and loved.
                              Give him a break.

                              1. re: MakingSense

                                This was a light-hearted, fun-loving post in the context of the Boston board, not a serious evaluation/criticism of his food choices. Read with a sense of humor.

                        3. re: small h

                          This was obviously a tongue in cheek post perhaps more appreciated by the Boston board, where we debate the merits of big bellies, small bellies and strips. In actuality I don't think POTUS actually ate these himself, but gave them to a secret service guy or someone else in the posse. The first lady had oysters.

                          No one tells me what to eat, but like Striper says below .. I do ask locals what THEY like if I'm unsure.

                          1. re: yumyum

                            I'll admit I read it because it was from the Boston board.

                            1. re: yumyum

                              Yes, this thread was mostly a JOKE. POTUS is perfectly entitled to eat clam strips. That said, in my heart of hearts, I hope that if he had the chance to try some good, medium belly clams, done just right, he'd love em.

                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                Er...what makes you think he hasn't? Dude spent a number of formative years living in Somerville, you think he never made it out to Kelly's?

                          2. Cool!!! the more the merrier!

                            Real foodies eat what they want, eat what they like, eat what makes them happy!!!

                            1. Now there's a thread on the Free Republic claiming that he was seen eating clam chowder as thick as library paste in a bread bowl!

                              1. I think it's important to note, for those of you outside the are with no access to proper fried clams, that clam strips are not simply fried clams with the bellies removed, but another creature entirely. Well, not entirely. As I understand it (and I'm sure I'll be corrected if wrong) clam strips are cut from deep sea clams, a much larger, hard-shelled animal than the tender, sweet, soft shelled clams that are made into proper fried clams. Also, IIRC, clam strips are pretty much always frozen foods that are fried/heated, rather than the fresh, hand-battered lovelies that are fried clams. For the record, as a young hound I would only eat strips, but over the years the appreciation for true fried clams has blossomed to the point where I wouldn't ever bother with clam strips.

                                So, perhaps the pres purchased the strips for his daughters, who may not yet be able to appreciate the true fried clam?

                                13 Replies
                                1. re: purple bot

                                  You're not 100% correct about the "pretty much always frozen" part: the worthy places for fried belly clams, such as the Clam Box in Ipswich, also make their clam strips out of fresh, not frozen, clams: there are plenty of beds of surf clams (aka sea clams or hard-shell clams) around here as well.

                                  The irony is that many of the same people who turn up their noses at clam strips rave about a certain restaurant in Boston's Chinatown that serves geoduck. And geoduck is -- surprise! -- a hard-shelled sea clam whose meat is indistinguishable in taste and texture from a well-made clam strip.

                                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                    I think the issue for some people is clam strips as "fried clams". I'm sure they can be done well, but I don't consider them "fried clams" (even though, yes, technically they are). I think of them as something different. Poor Obama! Talk about having your every move over-analyzed!

                                    1. re: purple bot

                                      As I said elsewhere in this thread, that's because they ARE something different! So I repeat: people who complain that clam strips are by definition inferior to belly clams might as well be arguing that scallops are by definition inferior to shrimp. They are two completely different things.

                                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                        They sure are.

                                        Properly fried whole belly clams are a treat. Clam strips are a delivery mechanism for tartar sauce (not that there's anything wrong with that).

                                        1. re: Bob W

                                          Whatever. I give up.

                                          1. re: Bob W

                                            Well said.

                                      2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                        But, the geoduck at Peach Farm in Boston's Chinatown - is served raw, sashimi style. Gee thanks for planting that craving into my head... ;-)

                                        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                          You are WAY off the mark. Pacific Geoduck is worlds apart from the local sea clam which is just as often used as bait as it is eaten.

                                          Geoduck is VERY different from East coast sea clam.

                                          I eat my Geoduck neck raw. There is no neck on an East Coast sea clam at all. And fried geoduck body is much more like the belly on a local fried clam. Geoduck and east coast sea clam could not be more different creatures. The only similarity is that they are both large clams.

                                          1. re: StriperGuy

                                            You keep telling yourself that, dude.

                                            1. re: StriperGuy

                                              One of the segments on "Diary of a Foodie", I believe it was, showed geoducks being dug somewhere on the Pacific coast, and prepared on the beach. They said this is the clam commonly used for strips.

                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                Well, obviously what you're getting at a place like the Clam Box isn't geoduck, since they're not native, but yes, sea clams are what's used for strips.

                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                  Seeing as we are on the East Coast, and even on the West Coast Geoduck is quite expensive and Atlantic sea clams are dirt cheap and used for bait (last summer I bought 15 pounds off the boat for $5), Diary of a Foodie couldn't possibly be wrong could they? No WAY you are being served Geoduck as clam stips in the eastern U.S. and probably anywhere.

                                                  Each Geoduck, even in the Pacific NW usually goes for $5-20 no way they are going to make strips out of that.

                                                  Futhermore, this egullet thread talks about pounded geoduck strips being a gourment delicacy. We are NOT talking about the same clam strips here:

                                                  http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?s...

                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                    For more on Geoduck and why noone in their right mind would make cheapo clam strips out of what can cost up to $30 a pound just look at the Wikipedia entry:

                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoduck

                                                    This ain't your granpa's Sea Clam.

                                                    This is a much better description of an Atlantic Surf (Sea) Clam and even goes to far as to refer to it as the clam used in Howard Johnson's clam strips:

                                                    http://www.sea-world.com/midatlantic/...

                                            2. Maybe it was a dare. Or he had already eaten some whole bellied and wants to be able to speak with authority when asked "which do you like better, strips or whole bellied?"

                                              1. This Canadian is frankly amazed at the attention you Yanks focus on what your president eats. Spam, a cheeseburger, clam strips - who cares? The only attention Canadians have paid to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's culinary habits is whether or not he swallowed the Eucharist at a funeral Mass.