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Fried belly clams in Balto?

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Fried belly clams in Balto?

Montebello | Apr 23, 2008 07:04 PM

Okay, who has had them or seen them for sale recently in the area? I don't mean clam strips! Soft shelled clams (maninose) used to be abundant in the upper Chesapeake Bay until the early 70s when hydraulic harvesters had pretty much dredged the Bay clean, responding to a demand from New England seafood interests whose own beds were wiped out by pollution, disease or over-harvesting. Wierdly, soft shells weren't valued much here or rather just ignored because of the otherwise popular oyster and crab fishery. Back then, my Dad, who never marched to anyone's drum, used to buy the quart can of Doxsee's soft shell steamers and had my Mom double-boil the thing on Friday nights - he would always let my brothers and I have one or two, dipped in melted butter - I thought it was heaven. I last had real fried belly clams from a roadside shack in Mystic, Connecticut in 1996. I'll never forget the taste extravaganza: the perfectly fresh clam taste; the huge, exploding, juicy belly pop when bitten; the yearning to down yet more of those morsels! I'm dying for some - yet I don't want to take the next Amtrak to Mystic!

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