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Razor Clams- Season? Boston Vendors?

opinionatedchef Dec 7, 2011 12:58 AM

Just have learned about razor clams this yr.Wiki shows 2 types; i don't know whether i've had Atlantic or Pacific razor clams, but love their distinct sweetness, and tenderness w/ a little chew. Island Creek does a super version w/ tasso ham, garlic and parsley, and they are currently on the menu.

Myers+ Chang also has them (w/scallion butter) but they were excellent once and gritty once. Has anyone seen them at Courthouse or Fresh Pond Seafood or WF or other? thnx much.



p.s. has anyone ever harvested them? wiki says the trick is to pour salt down their breathing holes rather than try to out- dig the speedy devils.

Myers + Chang
1145 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

Island Creek Oyster Bar
500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

  1. t
    twentyoystahs Dec 7, 2011 10:56 AM

    Had a delicious rendition of razor clams a couple of weeks ago at Toro. Not sure if it's a seasonal menu dish or something that is always there, but we all really enjoyed the dish.

    1. g
      GH1618 Dec 7, 2011 10:20 AM

      I am from Pacific razor clam country. I never heard of any such trick. They are harvested with a shovel designed for the purpose, and proper technique. It is an acquired skill, and tourists would sometimes use something called a "clam gun," but no native would use such a thing.

      6 Replies
      1. re: GH1618
        drb Dec 7, 2011 10:30 AM

        and then pan fried within an hour of harvesting. Amen.

        1. re: GH1618
          Infomaniac Dec 7, 2011 11:02 AM

          Another example of why wikipedia should never be used as a reference.

          1. re: Infomaniac
            opinionatedchef Dec 7, 2011 12:38 PM

            Or another reason why Wiki is an amazing great tool.( I guess you just can't respond positively to any of my posts. oh well.)

            Here’s what I learned about razor clams harvested and sold to Boston area restnts.( This from Michael Serpa, exec. chef at Neptune Oyster):

            They are harvested and sold by Island Creek Oysters in Duxbury. Method: the harvesters wait for a full moon to pull the tide waaaay out; then they walk out to the exposed razor clam beds; then they sprinkle salt all over the area . The clams think the salt is water so they stick their ‘heads’ up and the harvesters pull/pop them out of the sand. whew. SMAHHHHT guys. I just love learning about this technique. Aside from the deliciousness of the razor clams, this will have me smiling every time i eat them!

            p.s. CH fyi, i called Courthouse; they don't carry them anymore because their price doubled at some point ($6+ v.s. $4 lb). Eddie verified the full moon story and that Island Creek is the only purveyor, for them.

            Courthouse Fish Market
            484 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

            1. re: opinionatedchef
              emannths Dec 7, 2011 12:44 PM

              Video of this technique: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Slp8G7...

              1. re: emannths
                opinionatedchef Dec 7, 2011 01:00 PM

                He Man(that's how i think of you, because you're always so helpful), you are one hot ticket!
                thnx so much ; i love laughing!


              2. re: opinionatedchef
                StriperGuy Dec 7, 2011 01:25 PM

                I've seen recreational clammers digging them on the flats in Duxbury. They basically just use a big ole pitch fork with the tines bent at a 90 degree angle. They were digging plenty of them.

          2. trufflehound Dec 7, 2011 10:13 AM

            I've gotten them at Captain Mardens.

            1. Boston_Otter Dec 7, 2011 05:55 AM

              I've seen them at H-Mart.

              1. e
                emannths Dec 7, 2011 05:51 AM

                I've seen them at the fish counter at the Chinatown Cmart, and occasionally (I think) at Courthouse fish market.

                Courthouse Fish Market
                484 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

                1 Reply
                1. re: emannths
                  Spike Dec 7, 2011 02:24 PM

                  Seen them at CMart and Ming's all stuck out like a dog's tongue :-P
                  Not sure if that means they're ok or dying though...

                  I always thought they were from Nova Scotia...cool to know they're farmed in Duxbury...

                2. Aromatherapy Dec 7, 2011 05:18 AM

                  I've bought them at Whole Foods but can't remember when. Apparently they are farmed in Maine.

                  1. passing thru Dec 7, 2011 04:51 AM

                    for what it's worth, I've seen razor clams for sale once in a rare while by a seafood vendor at the Pawtucket winter farmer's market. Dug in li'l Rhody.

                    1. Delucacheesemonger Dec 7, 2011 04:25 AM

                      Obviously do not know what you had, but in Paris both the Atlantic style clams are here, called 'couteaux', as knife not razor clams. The two varieties are vastly different in price but in taste and texture about the same. Even when spent a lot of time in Asia did not ever see the Pacific ones, damn they look like giant steamers. Always annoyed me when people said 'Oh don't eat them out, easy to cook', annoying true but also applicable in this case.

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