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How long to keep fresh clams?

I went digging for clams today (for the first time) and came home with two small bags of them. The problem is, I won't be able to cook them until 48 hours from now. Is it OK to wait that long? How should I keep them until then?

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
klwalton
Apr. 17th, 2012 09:33 am (UTC)
This is spot on. Since you already have them home, put them in a colander covered by a moist towel. A live clam will close tightly when you tap it. Discard any that don't close, and when you cook them, discard any that don't open.

http://www.ehow.com/how_6394544_keep-fresh-clams-alive.html
aissi
Apr. 17th, 2012 01:26 pm (UTC)
Stephen Fry's QI has led me to believe that it's fine to eat clams that don't open during cooking.
anthylorrel
Apr. 17th, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC)
That would make me nervous.
aissi
Apr. 17th, 2012 03:57 pm (UTC)
I've never tried it (because I never cook my own seafood), but I don't see the problem with it, logically.

The reason you supposedly shouldn't eat them if they don't open is because they're "dead".
But the live ones close when you tap their shells. So if you tap their shells before you cook them, and only cook the ones that closed their shells when you tapped them, they're not going to go from fine to inedible in the 10 seconds it takes you to transfer them to the pot.

If you're using frozen ones, that might be a completely different story. But I don't see why it shouldn't be completely fine with fresh seafood.
anthylorrel
Apr. 17th, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
Well, you're supposed to cook all the shut ones, as well as any that close when tapped. The reason they say to throw away any that didn't open is because they could have been closed to begin with because they were dead already for god knows how long, or even full of mud. Yuck.
aissi
Apr. 17th, 2012 04:35 pm (UTC)
I'm too tired to do anymore research, but I found this one article: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/10/29/2404364.htm
It's about muscles, but I don't see why the same wouldn't apply to clams.

And here, in Australia, Dr Karl is a fairly well respected scientist, so I'm inclined to believe what he says.
kaspurr
Apr. 17th, 2012 05:07 pm (UTC)
lol @ aissi, when they haven't tried it themselves. cool. fine. YOU do it.
klwalton
Apr. 17th, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
That particular show mentioned mussels, not clams. Although you're welcome to try, I'd be reluctant to take my chances on a bad clam.
aissi
Apr. 18th, 2012 03:43 am (UTC)
Ah, that's true.
msmoonshade
Apr. 18th, 2012 11:55 pm (UTC)
There's just something so funny to me about the words 'bad clam'.
faisdodo
Apr. 19th, 2012 12:05 am (UTC)
Thanks for this! So I covered them with a wet towel in the fridge. This morning quite a few of them had opened, some a lot, some just a bit. I was worried that the open ones were dead. But most of them responded when I tapped them, if a bit sluggishly. I submerged them in some cool water with salt and cornmeal and put them back in the fridge, and within 5 minutes they'd all closed back up. So I assume most of them are still good even though they'd opened? What do you think?

I plan on tapping them again before cooking tonight to make sure, but thought I'd ask.
klwalton
Apr. 19th, 2012 12:28 am (UTC)
They're a bit sluggish because they're colder than normal when stored in the refrigerator. If they all closed back up, you're good to go. The second test is when you cook them. Those that don't open after a certain amount of time (if you're steaming, within 5-10 minutes) you'll want to discard.

Enjoy! When I was growing up, we spent a lot of summers in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, and clam-digging and eating was a big part of that.

dancenurbones
Apr. 17th, 2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
keep them on ice too! fresh clams last about 10 days.
klwalton
Apr. 17th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
Don't keep them directly on ice, they'll die. Refrigerator temp, in a colander, covered in a damp towel, is the best way to keep them alive.
cawnehun
Apr. 17th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
Довольно интересно.
molasses
Apr. 17th, 2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
my uncle Bernie (that's what i said) "feeds" his clams in the fridge overnight.

he sprinkles a bit of cornmeal over and says this encourages them to eat a bit and poop out any sand in their digestive tracts.

xkisses
Apr. 18th, 2012 01:21 pm (UTC)
Huh. This is the most interesting thing I've read in a week.
selkiechick
Apr. 18th, 2012 09:34 pm (UTC)
I know that owrks well with Oysters, which is part of why they are so popular- they ship and keep very well (for shellfish).
kamaliitaru
Apr. 17th, 2012 07:48 pm (UTC)
All the info you got was great, but I'm going to say it depends on the clams. I live in Razor Clam country, and it can be a bit difficult to keep them alive. We clean them when we get home, and store in the coldest part of the fridge in fresh water. They'll keep for a few days that way - but not too long. If you are referring to the smaller clams, keeping them in a colander in a cool part of the fridge is the way to go. The cornmeal trick works as well, and the clams will be cleaner when you cook them.
faisdodo
Apr. 19th, 2012 12:11 am (UTC)
I have no idea what kind of clams they are... Most of them are about an inch to an inch and a half long, and I live in Japan, on the Pacific Ocean side.

I posted another question in the comments above re: a change in clam status (ha). What do you think? I'll just copy and paste it here:

"I covered them with a wet towel in the fridge. This morning quite a few of them had opened, some a lot, some just a bit. I was worried that the open ones were dead. But most of them responded when I tapped them, if a bit sluggishly. I submerged them in some cool water with salt and cornmeal and put them back in the fridge, and within 5 minutes they'd all closed back up. So I assume most of them are still good even though they'd opened? What do you think?

I plan on tapping them again before cooking tonight to make sure, but thought I'd ask."
kamaliitaru
Apr. 19th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
They should be OK to eat. They were probably sluggish because they were both hungry and cold. As long as they responded when you tapped them, you should be OK.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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