I bought littleneck clams from A&P and they had no flavor…any idea why?

Trackback |      [pinit]

It’s hard to say for sure, having not eaten, sold or seen the clams in question ourselves.

There are several reasons why some clams taste better than others.  According to food science guru Harold McGee, clams and other mollusks store energy in the form of amino acids which give their meat flavor, body, and sweetness.  If the clam has expended those stores of energy, it is correspondingly less tasty.

That said, the most likely cause for clams to be using their stored energy is spawning, and quahogs tend to spawn in the summer, not the winter…so this may not be the cause of your particular issue.  Perhaps the clams were handled in such a way that they were under stress and had used up a bunch of their aminos by the time you cooked them.

The salt content of clams can vary with the conditions of the water where they grew.  Besides making food salty, salt is also a flavor enhancer, turning up the volume on other aspects of ingredients’ taste. It’s possible that the clams you bought this time came from a different source than you were used to and thus had a different flavor.

– Question Submitted by Sharon G.

Post your comment here: