Ipswich Clams & Top Notch Mams
I apologize for the subject of this post; P. Sundae demanded it in exchange for the pictures he took with his new SLR.
Ipswich, MA (and the neighboring town of Essex), located an hour north of Boston, is THE place to go for clams in northern New England. A half dozen restaurants specialize in serving them fresh; some in gourmet settings, but mostly in their famous fried configuration. My favorite place to go is The Clam Box, which has a secret double-frying method that leaves the batter firm but with a subtle chewiness and the clams with a lot of flavor.
Legend has it that Ipswich fried clams were invented by a local potato-chip entrepreneur looking for a way to make some money and/or delicious food out of the local delicacy. In those days, you could easily catch 200 lbs of clams per day in the Great Marsh around Cape Ann. Of course, pollution and over-harvesting have now devastated the area’s hauls. So, while clams are now brought in from places outside of Ipswich, including the southern coast of Maine, to meet the demand, it’s only in town that you can get them prepared just right.
Check out Road Food’s MA guide for more places to get great clams.
Click to see the best picture of your meat correspondent ever, along with a shot of The Clam Box’s menu. I recommend the “Two-Way Combo,” which will net you some zesty scallops as well as clams, onion rings and fries.