Do You Chew Or Swallow Raw Clams?

Many people enjoy eating clams. However, many people are used to eating clams that are cooked and not raw. Therefore, if you have never eaten them raw, it is understandable if you’re unsure how to do so. But don’t worry, we will discuss if raw clams should be chewed or swallowed.

Raw clams should be swallowed. When eating raw clams, you do not need to use utensils. Instead, pick up the clams, one at a time, and gently suck out the clam meat and juice. When you are finished, place the shells in a receptacle or around the edge of the plate.

If you are preparing clams, you need to know so much more than how to eat the clams. Continue reading to learn more about what clams can be eaten raw and how to clean the clams. 

Should You Chew Or Swallow Raw Clams?

If you have never eaten raw clams before, you might be unsure how to eat them. What adds to the confusion is that there are many pervasive myths about how to eat mollusks out there. So what is the truth? Do you chew raw clams or swallow them? Raw hard-shell clams are swallowed and not chewed.

In this sense, eating clams is similar to eating oysters. When swallowing, you should swallow both the clam meat and juice. However, some people prefer to chew clams instead of swallowing them. Many people believe that chewing clams enhances the flavor.

Once the flavor is enhanced, you can savor the taste more instead of gulping down the food. But, in the end, how you eat clams is up to personal preference. The ‘etiquette’ is to swallow r w clams, but if you prefer to chew them paired with a glass of champagne, that is your choice. 

Can You Eat Raw Clams?

You can eat raw clams. However, you should proceed with caution when consuming any uncooked food. Clams can harbor dangerous bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Clams that are infected can pose a severe health risk that can lead to sickness or even death when consumed.

Raw clams and oysters can cause vibrio infection, norovirus infection, or even hepatitis A. Symptoms can include vomiting, weakness, skin rashes, chills, and yellowing of the skin and eyes.

Depending on the illness, symptoms ms can develop anywhere from 10 hours to 50 days after eating contaminated food. If you develop any symptoms that concern you or you feel unwell in any way, seek medical advice immediately. 

Which Types Of Clams Can Be Eaten Raw?

Clams come in various sizes, shapes, and colors – so which ones are best to eat raw? There are over 150 types of edible clams, but only a handful of them are available commercially. Of the handful available commercially, even fewer can be eaten raw.

So, without further ado, here are two types of clams that can be eaten raw:

1. Hard Clams Can Be Eaten Raw

Hard clams, also called quahogs, come in two main varieties: northern quahogs and southern quahogs. These clams have grayish-white shells and come in different sizes. Clams from the northern variety can be eaten raw, such as littleneck clams and cherrystones.

Littleneck clams are the smallest and have a sweet and tender taste. Cherrystones are two and a half inches and can also be eaten raw. However, chowder clams – a northern variety clam -are not generally eaten raw because of their toughness.

Southern Quahogs can be eaten in the same manner as northern quahogs, i.e., raw or cooked, depending on your preference. 

2. Manila Clams Can Be Eaten Raw

Manila clams are hard-shell clams found in the Pacific ocean. The clams are small and consist of a sweet taste. You can eat manila clams raw or steam them or eat them in pasta. 

Although there are several types of commercially available clams, they are often not eaten raw due to their chewiness. In general, clams have a more subtle flavor due to the way they grow.

Clams grow in sediments and are exposed to fewer salt levels than oysters, which impacts their flavor. Also, ocean temperature and season can influence the taste of the clam. 

How To Eat Raw Clams

If you’re unsure of how to eat clams correctly, don’t worry. Here is a step-by-step guide on the correct etiquette so that you can have the best manners at the table. 

Pick Up Raw Clams With Your Fingers

It is perfectly acceptable to pick up clams with your fingers when eating raw clams. In fact, it is even expected wh n in a formal setting. Cooked clams require utensils, while raw clams do not require utensils. The raw clams should already be open when served. When you are ready to eat, pick up the raw clams, one at a time, using your hand.

Swallow The Raw Clam

Place the clam against the mouth and lift the shell upwards. Gently suck and swallow the clam meat and juices. 

Dispose Of The Raw Clam Shell

Once you are finished, you will be left with an empty shell. Dispose of the shells in a clam hell receptacle. If no clamshell receptacle is provided, place the shells around the edge of your plan. After each clam, use a napkin t wipe your hands and mouth. 

How To Clean Raw Clams

If you are planning are preparing clams for the first time, you might be unsure if they need to be cleaned. The answer is yes; clams need to be cleaned.

Even if you bought clams from a store, it is best to clean them yourself, as they may not have been thoroughly cleaned. Cleaning the clams will help remove any grit or sediment in the shell.

Under running cold water, use a brush to clean the outside of the shell. Next, place the clams in a bowl of cold water containing two tablespoons of salt per liter. Let the clams soak for 2-3 hours. After you have finished soaking the clams, rinse, and prepare them as you wish. 

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Clams that are raw are typically swallowed. However, how you eat the clam is up to personal preference. Chew or swallow; it is completely up to you.