Although you can find fresh clams at nearly any grocery store, it’s easy to dismiss them and move onto a more familiar food. But let me tell you: you’re missing out! Clams are a healthy ingredient that’s really easy to prepare. Easier than chicken. Yup. So it’s time to set the record straight! Read on as we debunk four common myths about these salty gems of the sea.
Myth #1: They’re hard to clean.
Most recipes with clams call for them to be “scrubbed clean.” But, when you head to the grocery store, you’ll find clams that probably look like they don’t have much to scrub off. If they’re farm-raised clams (more on that later), then the harvester already purged out any sand from inside and removed any debris from the shells.
If you’re still unsure about cleaning clams, ask your friendly seafood counter clerk. They’ll be wowed by your adventurous choice and won’t judge you for asking questions!
Once you bring the clams home, give them a rinse in cold water then check for any open shells. If there’s a clam that’s slightly open, press the shells together. If the shell stays closed, then the clam inside is alive and it’s still fresh and good to use. If the shell springs back open when you stop squeezing, throw it out.
Myth #2: They’re hard to cook.
False. In fact, clams are easier to cook than chicken! Why? Clams give you an obvious clue when they’re cooked – they pop open! Any clams still shut after cooking should be thrown out. Don’t even try to pry them open – toss ’em in the trash!
Myth #3: They’re not safe to eat.
Cooked shellfish are pretty darn safe to eat as the cooking process eliminates nearly all the harmful bacteria. Raw seafood is a different story, so take a few extra steps to make sure you know where the shellfish is from and buy it from a high-quality vendor.
For the #fitfam readers out there: clams are good for you! They don’t have high levels of mercury found in other seafood. Plus, they’re packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. They are high on sodium, but clams also provide natural salt for any dish. We barely add any salt when using the clam’s natural juices in our Linguine with Chorizo and Clams.
Myth #4: They’re bad for the environment.
Farm-raised clams are a great sustainable choice and readily available at most grocery stores. Wild clams are harvested using a process that damages the ocean floor, impacting sea life. If you want the deets on sustainable seafood, check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch – they even have an app so you can look up seafood while at the market!
READY TO DIVE IN?
Give our Linguine with Chorizo and Clams recipe a try! It’s fast, simple, and super impressive for a date night in or dinner with your bestie.