why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast?

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californyguy
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2007/03/15 01:25:53 (permalink)

why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast?

why are there no whole belly clams or steamer clams served on the west coast? Even good seafood places that have stuff shipped in from places you never even heard of do not have fried whole belly clams or real east coast steamers...anyone know why?
#1

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    EdSails
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/03/15 01:46:42 (permalink)
    Good question, hosseini. There was a place 10 years or so ago in Ventura Harbor that shipped in whole belly clams and made New England type seafood. They disappeared and I have not seen any place since. Help, someone!
    #2
    Jimeats
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/03/15 06:50:05 (permalink)
    Living in an area that is rich with bi-valves I can tell you there just isn't enough to go around.

    Clams are only dug in certain areas and there is a limit on just how much a digger can harvest. Sometimes many areas are closed for reseeding or due to weather conditions.

    I could go on and on, but if you want to enjoy these, come to the North East and enjoy. Even here, that can be difficult at certain times to get fresh clams. Chow Jim
    #3
    V960
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/03/15 11:36:11 (permalink)
    Because you live on the left coast and we live on the right one? Actually its a Gulf Stream thing.
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    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/03/15 12:10:21 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by hosseini

    why are there no whole belly clams or steamer clams served on the west coast? Even good seafood places that have stuff shipped in from places you never even heard of do not have fried whole belly clams or real east coast steamers...anyone know why?

    You can get steamed clams on the West Coast, but they do not use softshell clams, which are the ones used for both frying and steaming on the East Coast.
    #5
    Ashphalt
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/03/15 12:11:42 (permalink)
    I'd always heard (and this could just be Yankee legend) that one reason is that the soft shell clams are more perishable than hard shells. They certainly are more susceptible to breakage, which results in a rotten clam. So, steamers are pretty much impossible to distribute widely.

    Soft shells are, of course, shelled and shipped in cans for fried clams, but this adds to cost (and may be part of the reason HoJos switched from real "Ipswich" clams to "Tendersweet" chunks of cut-up sea clam). But anyone who has spent time digging soft shells can tell you that, like sweet corn, they lose flavor quickly and aren't half as good three days after harvest.
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    EdSails
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/03/15 12:38:59 (permalink)
    It's a frustrating thing. I spent a vacation several years ago in and around New Haven/Mystic and lived exclusively on clams, stopping only long enough to have a few pies at Pepe's there. Maybe it was the whole experience, but I can honestly say I have never had clams like that since. It's easy to find manila, razor and littlenecks here, but no softshell clams.
    #7
    tiki
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/03/15 12:45:43 (permalink)
    Actually--i have had some some great fried clams--thought NOT the same as east coast ones-in Northern California-using razor clams--which are common out there. But to be honest--when i liver there--i would rather have the mussels and ABALONE!!!! LOCAL seafood is ALWAYS better and i figured since NOTHING tastes like north atlantic soft shell clams anyway---why not look for what ever the locals eat instead. ---and that led me to discovering a very ugly and AWESOMELY delicious fish---Cabazone!--and on of the best seafood stews i ever mhad --made by a neighbor in Santa cruz--with cabazone-mussels-oysters-hard shell clams-shrimp and rock lobster tails simmered in tomato/wine/garlic!!! No--it wasnt fried clams with bellies, but!!!!!it wqasz good!
    #8
    Ashphalt
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/03/15 13:08:34 (permalink)
    Maybe off-topic, but interesting. I noticed on the web site of a local chain, the Halfway Cafe, that all items are available for take-out, except steamers, due to Federal Law.

    My taste buds rule that you eat steamers immediately after cooking, but I've never heard of a law.
    #9
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/03/15 13:41:40 (permalink)
    I'd put up money betting there's no such law.
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    EdSails
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/03/15 14:09:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tiki

    Actually--i have had some some great fried clams--thought NOT the same as east coast ones-in Northern California-using razor clams--which are common out there. But to be honest--when i liver there--i would rather have the mussels and ABALONE!!!! LOCAL seafood is ALWAYS better and i figured since NOTHING tastes like north atlantic soft shell clams anyway---why not look for what ever the locals eat instead. ---and that led me to discovering a very ugly and AWESOMELY delicious fish---Cabazone!--and on of the best seafood stews i ever mhad --made by a neighbor in Santa cruz--with cabazone-mussels-oysters-hard shell clams-shrimp and rock lobster tails simmered in tomato/wine/garlic!!! No--it wasnt fried clams with bellies, but!!!!!it wqasz good!


    You're right of course, Tiki. I steamed two local rock crabs for dinner last week for my daughter and I and they were fantastic. The local sand dabs are great and when they are in season the local Pacific Spiny Lobsters are ambrosia. Santa Barbara Rock shrimp, which I can often buy directly off the fishing boat are sweet and delicious. But I guess the problem with traveling is that if you find something you really like, such as the clams in New England------sometimes you want it again when you are not there.
    #11
    repartee
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/03/25 00:18:16 (permalink)
    Forgive my ignorance but when is clam season?
    #12
    Jimeats
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/03/25 07:45:42 (permalink)
    Clams are dug year round. There can be occasional closeings of the flats due to weather {too much rain} red tide or for reseeding. Chow Jim
    #13
    lobster
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/03/29 14:14:47 (permalink)
    In Oregon you can dig soft shell/pisser clams in most estuaries on the coast. They were brought to the west coast in ships from the east coast in ballast water. They are considered a non native species. 36 softshell clams can be harvested in addition to the bag limit of native clams. They are a bonus. I like them as much as the natives as I was raised in New England and crave whole belly fried clams. They are not commercially harvested here, so you have to get wet and muddy, but they taste better that way. They are an underutilized and underappreciated clam here so they are abundant. I have also found them in Washington when clam digging up there.
    #14
    marzsit
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/04/29 01:41:43 (permalink)
    soft shell clams are all over the beaches of hood canal in washington state, and many other inland waterways and tide flats up into canada. california doesn't represent the entire west coast even though most people think it does....
    #15
    markolenski
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/04/29 02:36:32 (permalink)
    Here are 2 places in San Diego that have whole belly clams. Be sure to call ahead to make sure my wife did not eat their supply.
    Studio Diner
    4701 Ruffin Rd.
    San Diego, CA 92123
    Phone: 858-715-6400

    http://www.studiodiner.com/index.php
    They are not on the web site but they do have them most of the time.

    Boston & Maine Fish Company
    324 Horton Plaza
    San Diego, CA 92101
    (619) 234-1900



    #16
    fastang
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/12/20 05:42:00 (permalink)
    you want east coast ? go east coast. i can go out and in 10 minutes be eating oysters, steamers, dungeoness, mussels that i harvest myself. ( give me a few hours on the dungeoness!
    #17
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2007/12/20 07:23:08 (permalink)
    When I lived in the northwest, although there were plenty of clams, I could never get too enthusiastic after having been initiated on them in the northeast.
    #18
    Trask
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2008/03/15 23:32:26 (permalink)
    Another good start for NW coast gaper clams for me. One weighed in at 2.25 pounds. Some excellent tides coming up in April & May.
    #19
    WarToad
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    RE: why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2008/03/23 20:51:14 (permalink)
    I live in Seattle and there's clams, mussels, oysters out the wazoo in grocery stores and restaurants. Quite a bit very local, since there's shellfish farms up and down the coast from northern CA to B.C., as well as claming being nearly as popular as fishing. I think it's a "who you know" to find "where they are".
    #20
    Luis702
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    Re:why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2010/12/10 18:27:38 (permalink)
    I didn't realize it was hard to find fried whole belly clams in the west coast until I over heard a customer raving about it at a restaurant I was eating. I talked to the owner that works at Lazy Joe's Fish & Chips and the reason he has them is because he grew up in Boston and good sea food is hard to find out here he says.  I recommend this place if you are ever in Las Vegas 
    #21
    BT
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    Re:why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2010/12/10 19:08:26 (permalink)
    I have no idea why they wouldn't have them (because I found lots of soft-shell crabs in SF's Mission District at a time when my sister couldn't find any in Baltimore) but if it's true, I'm impressed.  Frankly, I think the idea of shipping seafood across the continent (or around the world in the case of Asian farm-raised stuff) is wrong.  You should eat local--on the west coast that means dungeness crab, abalone (if you can get it), salmon, Puget Sound and Drake's Bay oysters and so on.
    #22
    mar52
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    Re:why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2010/12/10 19:21:37 (permalink)
    Who said that they aren't available on the West Coast?
     
    You just need money:
     
    http://www.sidsseafood.com/
     
     
    #23
    EdSails
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    Re:why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2010/12/11 00:31:59 (permalink)
    Actually, I was just at Quality Seafood on the Redondo Beach Pier Boardwalk a few weeks ago and the had the "pisser" steamers (soft shell clams)brought in from New York. I was there with a friend originally from Long Island who was just in Freeport, L.I. at the Crab Shack and who was lamenting the same thing. She jumped for joy when we went by the tank with her favorite steamers. For a few dollars more they steam them for you with a wine garlic sauce. They were superb and she felt right at "home".
    The place has been there for years, an open air fish market with a wide variety of things. The do have a seating area. We also had a nice piece of smoked sablefish (black cod) which is another thing you can't usually find here. Great place to go!
                                    Quality Seafood
    130 South International Boardwalk
    Redondo Beach , CA 90277
    310 372-6408
                            http://www.qualityseafood.net/

    #24
    BillyB
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    Re:why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2010/12/11 11:59:00 (permalink)
    EdSails

    Actually, I was just at Quality Seafood on the Redondo Beach Pier Boardwalk a few weeks ago and the had the "pisser" steamers (soft shell clams)brought in from New York. I was there with a friend originally from Long Island who was just in Freeport, L.I. at the Crab Shack and who was lamenting the same thing. She jumped for joy when we went by the tank with her favorite steamers. For a few dollars more they steam them for you with a wine garlic sauce. They were superb and she felt right at "home".
    The place has been there for years, an open air fish market with a wide variety of things. The do have a seating area. We also had a nice piece of smoked sablefish (black cod) which is another thing you can't usually find here. Great place to go!
                                   Quality Seafood
    130 South International Boardwalk
    Redondo Beach , CA 90277
    310 372-6408
                            http://www.qualityseafood.net/


    Hi Ed, would this be a good idea when I'm at Disney in April ?????????? how far would it be from Disneyland...................Thanks Bill
    #25
    EdSails
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    Re:why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2010/12/11 16:37:17 (permalink)
    The pier area is about 45 minutes depending on traffic. It consists of the Pier, an "International Boardwalk with Quality Seafood and Naja's (700 beers on tap!) and a bunch of touristy shops for the kids. They can also rent a pole and do some fishing at the end of the pier. There is also a little beach there, mainly nice for walking and the marina which has some tour boat cruises.
    http://www.redondopier.com/
    It also puts you at Hermosa and Manhattan Beaches......good walking down "The Strand" You might really enjoy it. In April, you can at least put your feet in the ocean. Nice time of year. Yes, I think it would be a nice way to spend the day.
    #26
    EdSails
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    Re:why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2010/12/11 17:26:46 (permalink)
    The market also has a great selection of live crabs and lobsters. Prices are a little high and you have to rent a wooden mallet for then, but they are very close to being just off the boat. Unfortunately, you will miss the local spiny crab season which ends on March 16th, but they have lots of local fish nand local crabs-----dungeness, rock and spider. It is an amazing fish market and since you can get it cooked and eat it on picnic tables it's a nice casual way to enjoy incredibly fresh seafood. Depending on the time, they have about 30 tanks with live oysters, clams and mussels as well as fresh fish including tuna monkfish, local bass and sheepshead. It might not be fancy, but it's good and kids love it since you look right at the boats.
    #27
    Gazmik
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    Re:why no whole belly clams/ steamers on west coast? 2010/12/11 19:53:33 (permalink)
    EdSails
    It also puts you at Hermosa and Manhattan Beaches......good walking down "The Strand" You might really enjoy it.

    Why am I craving breakfast at Scotty's?
    #28
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