Steamer clams

Katlyn:  Hello, I’m Katlyn Graham, here with Steve Woodman, the co‑CEO and owner of Woodman’s. Welcome, Steve.

Steve:  Glad to be here, Katlyn.

Katlyn:  Thanks for joining us today. Your specialty is the New England clam bake, the traditional clam bake. But I know clam bakes can differ depending on where you are. What kind of differences have you noticed with the clams between, say, here and New York?

Steve:  Well, the difference in the clams…we’re in the part of the country, Massachusetts, Maine, that has the soft shell clam. Steamer clam, some people call it. That’s what we use up here for our clam bakes.

But if you go further south, the tendency is to have a hard shell clam, a little neck or a top neck clam, to have on their clam bakes. They’re both clams, but they’re a different type of clam.

Here in New England, we do more of the soft shell clams, and as they go a little bit more south, they do more of the hard shell clams.

Katlyn:  Well, so there will actually be different clams at the clam bakes.

Steve:  That’s right.

Katlyn:  Wow, OK. You had mentioned the chowder. How does the chowder differ between, say, here and New York?

Steve:  They may not be different. Well, here in New York, you have your red chowder. They put tomatoes and stuff in the New York style chowder. Up here, it’s more of a cream based chowder, where you have your cream and your clam stock.

But actually, what we do is the old‑fashioned New England clam chowder, which is actually a thin based chowder. There’s no thickeners and no starches, no flour or anything that’s put into our chowder. Ours is like my grandmother used to make 100 years ago, a thin based clam chowder.

Actually, that chowder is gluten free, so if you have celiac disease, you can come have our clam chowder. If you have celiac disease, you can come to our restaurant and have fried clams or fried shrimp, or whatever, because we don’t add any by‑products into our cornflour that they would react to.

Katlyn:  Wow, so even fried clams are gluten free?

Steve:  That’s right.

Katlyn:  My goodness.

Steve:  At our restaurant.

Katlyn:  Wow, that’s reason to come on out for all those gluten‑free eaters. My goodness.

Anything else about New England clam bakes that you want to share, Steve?

Steve:  Anything else? I just think of, when you say clam bake, it just pops into my mind of family and friends and having a good time, just enjoying life and enjoying the summer. We have people that will have a clam bake in January or February and call it their summer‑time festival.

Katlyn:  [laughs] Oh, there you go. You can have it at different times of the year.

Steve:  That’s right.

Katlyn:  But around here, you’ll find soft shell clams. Very interesting. Well, thank you so much for explaining all that Steve.


Photo credit: Kent Wang / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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