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Please Help me Find My Perfect Remebered Clamcake

Although I'm a little beyond middle age, I still go on Grail quests for perfect clamcakes. My troubling searches to find them seem to have the sort of disappointments that 'they don't make 'em like they used to' and have ended in discouragement. ( I also feel this way about homefries).

I can describe my perfect clamcakes; I can tell you where in the long distant past I have had some, but not all by any measure,because they seemed common, of my perfect clamcakes. Yet now that satisfaction is elusive. No,not elusive but non-existent in my quests.

I wonder what other people desire in clamcakes and share my desire in the hope that someone can guide me to the paradisical end of my quest.

My perfect clamcakes have a thick,crunchy,browned crust on the outside,with little branches of browned batter growing off. They seem almost burned outside,but are not.

Inside,they have a somewhat breadlike density,not soggy with grease,taste of clams and have proportional pieces of clams in the batter. Pencil eraser type clam pieces are kept to a minimum or entirely eliminated.

If you are old enough to have ever gone to Jolly Cholly's in Ma,that's the basic "it", with some refinements, that I'm looking for.

These are the clamcakes of my youth. How I would love to find them again. Please don't tell me Iggy's or Aunt Carry's. No way. Also,please share what you like in a clamcake. I would love to know what you like.

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  1. I REMEMBER Jolly Cholly's. Perhaps you might remember Emery's (across from the Howard Johnson's on 1A going into Wickford). It is long gone...the two Yankee ladies who made clam cakes, (the real deal clear) chowder, and pies. An Emery's clamcake was the standard to which ALL clamcakes should be held. Frequently, on the way to the beach (Bonnet or the Pier), we would stop for bags of them to have with the rest of lunch. And, often, we just ate at one of the picnic tables there. Chowder 15cts. a bowl--clam cakes 5cts. each...all went with the idyllic childhood summers of the 50s in R.I.

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    Howard Johnson
    401 Russell St, Hadley, MA 01035

    2 Replies
    1. re: AikiLou

      This fascinates me AikiLou,and really pulls out those strong longings for things gone by. I don't specifically remember Emery's,probably because we lived just over the state line in MA and went to lots of different places.

      However it's highly likely that we did eat at Emery's. Would you be so kind as to give a description of those lovely Emery's clamcakes when you have time? And oh yes,oh,yes,you bring back the idyllic summer memories so well. Thank you for the savory( in many contexts) memories.

      1. re: lobbieyum

        It is hard to remember those clamcakes, but, I will say that as a teenager, I considered them to be superior to those of Aunt Carrie's or George's or ANYwhere in southern R.I. And, I think they were what you would have liked. Emery's closed because the sisters were elderly when I was a kid, and, I think they just retired. Also, you could leave your pie tin with them on the way to the beach and pick it up with a homebaked pie in it on the way home. Also, I loved the clear chowder...when I was preteen and teen, it was the perfect lunch...a bowl of chowder, a half dozen clamcakes, and a cream soda.

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        Aunt Carrie's Restaurant
        1240 Ocean Rd, Narragansett, RI 02882

    2. From the description, what i think you might mean is clam fritters, not clamcakes...although some places call them that. Clam Fritters seem to be primarily a RI item and a few places in MA, mostly in SEMA.

      You might want to explore:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/615413

      2 Replies
        1. re: FriedClamFanatic

          Sorry FriedClam but there is nothing in Rhode Island known as a Clam Fritter. They are clam cakes plain and simple. The best I have had lately are Iggy's Doughboys on Oakland Beach in Warwick, but only in the winter when you can ask for them well done. During the summer they are too busy to really pay the attention that I like; don't get me wrong they are still good in summer but not perfect like winter time.
          You could also try Monahan's at the end of the wall in Narragansett.

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          Iggy's Doughboys
          1157 Point Judith Rd, Narragansett, RI 02882

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Years ago clam cakes were made from a scratch recipe. Now its the famous Drum Rock Pre-Mix. Just add water and clams load the fryolator and have at it.

            1. OMG I remember Jolly Cholly's too. It was my first amusement park! We would stop there in the summer on our way back from visiting my Dad's family in RI. Have not thought of it in years. Unfortunately, I don't remember the clamcakes there. I do remember the clamcakes at Rocky Point and the huge dining hall where you'd have your shore dinner before going to the amusement park.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Kat

                WOW Jolly Cholly's I remember that one also. This must be the Sr. Citizen rec. Actually Rocky Point's shore Dinner Hall had one of the first sophisocated fryolators it was a massive tank and their clam cakes were pretty good. Most of the time I make my own but one stupid day I was down Narragansett and stopped by Georges window for a few. They were like lead soggy, the oil was horrid I think they have to change the oil sometimes.

                1. re: Frank Terranova

                  Actually the clamcakes at George's are quite good and very popular. But only if you're a seagull. (absolutely no such thing as a clam fritter in RI)