fried clams & red tide

Junior Burger
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2005/06/09 21:02:28 (permalink)

fried clams & red tide

Getting good clams (even here in New England) is getting pretty shakey with all this red tide going on.
Plesae share your recent experiences and/or any recomendations you might have.

7 Replies Related Threads

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    RE: fried clams & red tide 2005/06/09 21:20:40 (permalink)
    I've seen this on the news feeds... What exactly is the Red Tide? Here in the Midwest we worry about a drought... A funky tide has me really wondering now...

    Junior Burger
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    RE: fried clams & red tide 2005/06/10 08:53:40 (permalink)
    Red tide is caused when we have alot of rain. Fresh water wich is contaminated floods the clam flats and it takes a little while befor it clears up. In the past it seems like it has cleared up in a couple of weeks but this year it seems to be going on for ever.It rained here the whole month of May.We are lucky Canada has not been affected as that is where I have always bought my clams. It has made the price rise though {$97.00 a gallon last friday}. Usualy they are $48.00 a gallon this time of year. We have even resorted to using clams from Washington state.I am raising my my prices this a.m.
    Double Cheeseburger
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    RE: fried clams & red tide 2005/06/10 10:25:30 (permalink)
    Red Tide is the result of an algae bloom. The algae is harmless to the clams but toxic to humans

    Not every plant poisoning is caused by a large, terrestrial plant. Several microscopic marine algae are notoriously poisonous to hapless humans who consume them in shellfish.
    These Algae are tiny, single-celled plants that, like plants on land, capture and use the sun's energy to grow. The growth of algae is an essential life process, as it is the first step in transferring solar energy into aquatic food webs. The huge variety of marine algae are typically subject to annual cycles of growth & decay. These organisms thrive and multiply principally during the spring and summer, in response to increased light intensity and favourable levels of salinity & nutrients in ocean water. During the growth period, or bloom, each single algae cell may replicate itself one million times in two to three weeks.

    During the reproductive riot of the bloom, warm, shallow seawater tends to become discoloured by the sheer concentration of algae seeking the sunlight. This discolouration is a result of the various pigments the plants use to trap sunlight; depending on the species of algae present, the water may reflect pink, violet, orange, yellow, blue, green, brown, or red. Since red is the most common pigment, the phenomenon has come to be called Red Tide.

    Most species contributing to algal blooms are harmless, BUT (another big but!) some species are poisonous to animals which feed upon them directly or indirectly. Some of the toxins these species produce are seriously toxic. Often, the algae themselves are unaffected, as are the filter feeders, especially shellfish, for whom micro-algae are the principal diet. However, to carnivores further up the food chain, including humans, these toxins are potentially FATAL.

    THE GUTS AND INTESTINAL TRACT of shellfish and fish which have consumed toxic algae accumulate and store the toxins. As a result, fish, provided they are gutted in the usual manner, are not a threat; nor, ironically, are scallops- a shellfish whose "meats"- the muscles that open and close its shell- are the only parts harvested for food. All other infected shellfish, however- especially mussels, oysters & clams.

    Filet Mignon
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    RE: fried clams & red tide 2005/06/10 11:39:08 (permalink)
    A local place, well known for fried clams, has a sign. "Maryland Clams". We are in Mass.
    Double Cheeseburger
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    RE: fried clams & red tide 2005/06/10 12:20:22 (permalink)
    Oh No!!!! " />

    We are planning a trip to Cape Ann at the end of the month and surely fried clams are on the agenda. Does the Red Tide impact for a long stretch of time or could we be back with the whole bellies in no time?

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    RE: fried clams & red tide 2005/06/10 12:35:13 (permalink)
    Up here in Maine, they are talking 3-6 weeks for the bloom to clear, and another 3-6 weeks for the shellfish to flush out clean enough to eat. Rotten timing.
    Lucky Bishop
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: fried clams & red tide 2005/06/10 13:42:09 (permalink)
    Stan: I'm afraid you're basically hosed. The red tide has closed nearly every local shellfish bed (I *think* there's one or two still open around Buzzard's Bay), and eventually even the imported supplies are going to get thin. If you can find whole clams, expect to pay a huge markup, but frankly, don't expect to find whole clams.
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