Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Quahog Clam Country
[Maryanne]OK, I confess my ignorance – The only time I had ever heard mention of the name Quahog was as the home town of the Family Guy show – I even assumed it was a family guy invention... But it’s real, not a town, but a clam so now I know more than I did before I moved to Rhode Island!
The name Quahog seem to be used for both the "hard clam" species itself, and also for the older, larger clams of the species; they are the first choice for chowders and sauces (indeed the larger ones are also called the chowder clams). Smaller clams of the same species may be called little-necks.
We are currently hanging out in Narragansett Bay, and it was the Native American Naragansett tribe that provided the word Quahog to the English language – so I’m really thinking of it as a local clam, even though it is common in the whole NE USA.
According to Wikipedia (where the photo comes from) Rhode Island supplies a quarter of the USA commercial catch of Quahog clams.
Of course there are plenty of other clams harvested here, and every morning we see the work boats heading out, and the local clam shack seems to have an active business in the afternoon. The soft shell clams (steamers) are also collected and available locally. I may get brave and try cooking them myself before I leave the area.
One final (kind of related) fact - the Ocean Quahog, a slightly different species, is the longest living animal we know of (see oldest found North of Iceland at 405 years )