Saturday, December 23, 2006

Cedar Key:
brand-name live clams you'll definitely dig

Brand names on raw clams? While it's common to see familiar grocery names on cans of chopped and minced clams, I never saw brand names on bags of raw clams until I discovered Cedar Key live clams at a Costco seafood "road show." Frank Perdue introduced branding to chickens, so why shouldn't clams have names, too?

Cedar Key Aquaculture Farms is the largest clam farmer in Florida, and they distribute absolutely delicious littlenecks. The shells were a bit more reddish than the clams we're used to in New England (Florida sun tan, maybe?), and they definitely had less sand.

Cedar Key is the supplier to all Costcos east of the Mississippi, as well as Kash-n-Karry supermarkets in Florida and selected Winn-Dixies throughout the southeast. If your local store doesn't carry Cedar Key clams, nag the seafood manager. Costco announces their road shows a few weeks in advance, so plan to be there on the the first day, before they sell out.

Yours truly, the alleged clam expert, foolishly bought a big bag of clams and stuck them in the fridge a couple of days before going on a clam tasting trip to Cape Cod. When I got back, I assumed I'd find a stinking bag of expensive refrigerated garbage, accompanied by appropriate verbal abuse from my wife; but the clams smelled fine.

I rinsed them off, dumped them in a pot with about a half inch of water, heated them for a few minutes until the shells opened, and had some of the best-tasting steamed clams ever (plus clam juice to use later in clam sauce).

According to the tag, these clams were harvested on 3/21; but they were not eaten until 4/3. They were obviously great quality to begin with, and I compliment Cedar Key and Costco for high standards in processing, shipping and storage. Yum! CLICK for Cedar Key.

1 comment:

LonesomeDove59 said...

Had a friend pick up some clams at costco today for a low country boil on Sunday,,,,Aug 31. Use by date is Aug 30 and there are quite a few open shells.
Are they dead if the shells are open?
Can they still be used. They were havested in FL on Aug 19.
They were put on ice for the 3 hr ride here and are now in the fridge.
I read in another blog that if some of the shells are open they are not dead and should be thrown out. I hope not,,,there are quite a few open shells.
Any comments greatly appreciated.