As I continue my culinary roadtrip up to New England and other parts of the country, I wanted to check in on a long-standing "clam feud." In Massachusetts, two very old, family-owned seafood restaurants each lay claim to the creation of the very first fried clam.
A few years ago, I wrote an article on Woodman's of Essex. They unequivocally stated that they were the first place to ever drop a clam into a fryer. This trip I decided to stop by their competitor, The Clam Box. They, just as adamantly, proclaim themselves as the creators of the fried clam.
This battle, which goes back several decades, still rages on. It's the Massachusetts version of the Hatfields and McCoys feud. Depending on who you ask, some will side with The Clam Box, while others line up behind Woodmans.
No one seems to be able to say for sure who was the first, however, there are no losers in this battle, only winners. The customers who stop by either one of these restaurants are in for a taste treat when they sink their teeth into a fresh, tender fried clam. Whether you like the strips, as I do, or if you're more of a clam "belly" fan, you won't be disappointed in this great New England specialty.
I tried to get their recipes, but neither one would give them out. They say you can find fried clam recipes all over the Internet and in cookbooks, but each claim none compare to theirs. After tasting the fried clams at both places I have to agree both are fabulous, and if you ever get up to Massachusetts, stop by one or both and find out for yourself.
Don't feel like cooking, check out the clams at McDivots Wings and Raw Bar in Westchase.