Gift Guide, Day 11

December 8, 2010

Geoduck

The first time someone told me about the existence of clams that grow to 15 pounds I was eighteen years old, and I was convinced that he was putting me on. It was, from my Manhattan perspective, impossible to think of such a giant clam as anything but a joke. The name made it seem even more absurd: Gooeyduck? (That’s how the word is pronounced.)

But geoducks are no joke. Native to the Pacific Northwest, they are among the stranger beasts of the world. And also among the most delicious. If you’ve ever had “giant clam” in a sushi bar, you’ve tasted geoduck. To me this is the essence of clam – briny, mild, crisp, crunchy. Just one taste makes me happy.

For an adventurous cook, nothing would be cooler than to open up a package and find a giant clam. If it were me? I’d slice that long neck into sushi on the spot, and make the fat belly into an awesome chowder. That is, after I’d stopped laughing – and expressing my endless thanks.

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