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Preparation Of Clams

Clams are bivalves similar to oysters in both form and composition. Because of the similarity in composition, they are utilised in much the same ways as oysters, being used extensively for food in parts of the country where the supply is large. There are numerous varieties of clams, and some of them differ slightly from each other in appearance, colour, and flavor.

Preference for the different varieties is largely a matter of individual taste. Clams may be purchased loose or in the shell and they may be served in or out of the shell. However, when bought in the shell, they must be purchased alive and must be subjected to the same tests as are oysters. Their preparation for cooking is similar to that of oysters. If clams are to be opened in the home, first wash the clams to remove the sand, and then place a clam on a hard surface so that the pointed edge is up. Insert the thin edge of a knife into the very slight groove between the shells, or valves, and with a heavy utensil of some kind strike the top of the knife several times so as to separate the valves. Then, as in opening oysters, spread the shells apart, as shown, and loosen the clam from the shell it adheres to.