That photo to the right is not the world’s largest piss clam. It is a geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck), and it has been an object of intense interest of Mr. JK ever since he saw one on one of the Food Network/Travel Channel shows that play on a constant loop in the apartment he shares with Mrs. JK. I thought they looked kind of interesting, and the descriptions sounded tasty, but had I gone to the undiscovered country without ever eating one, I would be ok with that. Not so with Mr. JK. He was Ahab, and this humble (albeit oversized) bivalve was his Moby Dick.
Mr. JK finally tracked down someone from the Pacific Northwest who would overnight a live one. I am not going to hazard a guess as to what that cost him, though he did say that shipping costs nearly doubled the price. Mr. JK is legendary for his frugality, so his willingness to pony up to get a geoduck to New York is proof of his obsession with the mollusk.
We searched the internet for some idea as to how to prepare it, and the general consensus was to blanche it in boiling water for about ten seconds, then plunge it in an ice bath to stop the
cooking. After a few minutes in the ice water, you remove the membrane that covers the ‘neck’ and remove the shell.
We thinly sliced the ‘neck’ which we dipped in a homemade ginger-soy dipping sauce. Mr. JK, N (Mr. JK’s colleague) and I all thought this was fantastic. You cannot get sashimi any fresher than from a mollusk that was alive just a few minutes prior to you popping it in your mouth. Later that night we used the body to make a white clam sauce for pasta which everyone else thought was so-so but I thought was great (probably because I made it).
We consumed many beers that day, but one of my favorites was the Blue Point Toasted Lager that N brought with him. I am generally not a fan of lagers, as I find them to be somewhat bland, but this has a toasted flavor that comes from Blue Point’s “direct-fire brew kettle’s hot flames that impart a toasted flavor” according to Blue Point’s website. That does not make a whole lot of sense to me, but that is their explanation. It has a pronounced malty flavor while still being fairly light. I did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did, 6.5/10.