Thursday, May 14, 2009

Clam Digging

I'm from Ohio. For those of you geographically challenged that is nowhere near the sea. It's a good ten hours by car to get to an ocean. We have a dirty river and Lake Erie and that's about it. So living in Tahara where I'm a fifteen minute ride from the Pacific Ocean and the Mikawa Bay has been great.

A few weeks ago I found out just how great it really can be when I was invited to go clam digging. I love clams. Particularly in chowder. My family took an epic road trip through New England when I was in junior high and one of the things I remember is eating grilled cheese and clam chowder for lunch every single day and sometimes again for dinner. It was great. You could tell it was fresh when every once in awhile you would crunch down on a piece of sand. Really, really great. So I was really excited to go clam digging.

Shiroya Beach on the bay side.

Turns out I'm not so good at clam digging though. For starters we showed up in shorts and flip flops and then realized that all the locals were wearing raincoats and boots. That's because it was FREEZING. We were also missing some vital tools, shovels being the main item. Let me state that it is possible to dig for clams using only a very large rock but I wouldn't really recommend it. My hands ached for days after. Eventually, I gave up and went to sun myself on some nearby rocks, leaving the work to the experts like Miyuki's grandma. It took our group of six people to get the same amount of clams as that seventy-something year old woman.

My friend Miyuki and her grandma.

Nathan shows us what we're looking for.

Our catch for the day.

But while I may suck at digging for them, I excel at eating them. After soaking in salt water for several hours, Miyuki declared them ready to cook. A little steam, some sake, onions, and a clove of garlic and they were ready for consumption. And man oh man were they good. They were definitely worth the sore hands, back, and legs the next three days. Oishikatta!


Side note: I'm holding chopsticks in this picture but it's practically impossible to eat these little buggers with them.

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