“Purge” Clams Before Cooking to Get All the Sand and Grit out of Them

Italy’s pasta with clams has the double distinction of being one of the world’s great seafood dishes and one of its great pasta dishes. It’s just that the way it’s often served, with the pasta chock-full of clamshells, is deeply flawed.

Source: Want Better Spaghetti alle Vongole? Stop Packing It Full of Clamshells

Or put the clams into a lot of cold water that you’ve added white or yellow cornmeal.  The clams take in the cornmeal, flushing it out of their system along with the sand. It takes an hour or so, and it truly works.

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How Fake Mollusk Poop Can Save The Environment

Did a clam just excrete some brown particles in your hand? The good news is that it might not be poop. The bad news is that it might be worse than poop. The best news is that stuff that’s “worse than poop” can save an ecosystem.

Clams, tube worms, and other mollusks are filter feeders, which means that anything that floats close enough to them gets sucked into their mouths. Given the state of the ocean, there are a lot of horrible things floating by them.

Fortunately for them, this is not a new phenomenon. Clams live in sand. If they didn’t have a way of filtering out the tiny particles they took in, they would essentially sand their insides down to nothing. They have long been dealing with their indiscriminate eating habits by producing something known as “pseudofeces,” or, in laypeople’s terms, fake poop.

Source: How Fake Mollusk Poop Can Save The Environment

The snag with this is that, with ocean acidification, molluscs like clams are having increasing difficulty building shells.  Rather than encouraging clams, perhaps it’s time we stopped polluting instead? Then we could let the clams take care of themselves.