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Raw oysters get all the love, but my heart belongs to raw clams. With their meaty texture, salty liqueur, petite size and touch of sweetness, raw mussels are perfect for slurping on the half-shell with a splash of fresh citrus fruit, a generous pinch of celery salt and a strong dose of cayenne pepper sauce. The problem that we raw clam lovers encounter is that they are not as readily available in restaurants as raw oysters or steamed clams, and when they are, they are very expensive by comparison. And while you can get a deal on raw mussels in fish markets, the problem remains of opening them.
A traditional clam shaker is similar to a bread knife with a blunt, rounded tip and a long, sharp edge. You run the sharp side along the seam of the clamshell and exert pressure until you can wedge the blade between the upper and lower shell and open the clam. Too much force and you will shatter the tender shell of the clam and end up with broken pieces in the flesh. Not tasty. While I’ve seen tons of how-to videos, I can’t tell you how many clams I steamed after I stopped peeling them.
But then I came across SeaScissors’ Clam Key while on vacation in Cape Cod. With a sharp, tapered, pointy point (like a tiny spear!), The clam key didn’t look like a clam knife I had seen before. Instead of applying even pressure to the shell seam as you would with a normal clam knife, insert the tip of the clam key into a spot near the hinge. According to SeaScissors, this is the mussel’s “Achilles’ heel,” a weak point where the ribbon that holds the mussels together ends. The body of the clamshell key is very thin, so it slides right in, allowing you to sever the muscles that attach the clam to the clam with a gentle side-to-side motion. Then turn the clam key 90 degrees – like a key, understand? – and watch the clam open.
As I sipped clam by clam with ease and speed, I realized that the clam key would revolutionize my relationship with my favorite clam. I would never have to choose between steamed mussels at home or expensive raw mussels in a seafood restaurant again. Would anyone happen to Frank’s RedHot now?
Source * www.bonappetit.com – * Source link