4
| Menus |

Blood Clams on the Menu Tonight at Cove

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

In case this week's restaurant review wasn't enough to get you in to try Cove for the first time, maybe the subtle threat of danger will be more convincing.

The cockle you see above is called a blood clam. It's very rare for these to show up Houston, as importing the blood clams from Southeast Asia is prohibited due to health concerns. Yet Philippe Gaston has them tonight at Cove -- but only a limited supply.

Blood clams, long a Chinese delicacy, are often found on lists such as these: The World's 10 Deadliest Delicacies or 5 Deadly Dishes from Around the World.

But that's because the blood clams that are cultivated in Southeast Asia -- and the blood clams, therefore, that most people eat -- can be filled with hepatitis A, hepatitis E (did you even know there was a hep-E?) and typhoid, among other things. This is due to the fact that blood clams filter 40 liters of water a day -- far more than your typical clam or oyster. And the waters where these clams are cultivated are severely polluted. Because the clams are typically served raw, none of those little nasties are killed off with heat.

(Does this sound anything like the argument against raw Gulf oysters and vibrio? Just checking.)

Either way, the blood clams that Cove is serving tonight aren't from Southeast Asian blood clam farms -- they're from closer to home, off the shore of Cape Cod. And they're perfectly safe, despite looking a bit like clam survivors in the clam version of Texas Clamsaw Massacre.

"Once you get past the off-putting name and appearance," reports the New York Times, "you will find that blood clams have a deliciously crisp succulence, like geoduck, and a flavor that is not as briny as a littleneck or cherrystone clam."

Oh, and that name? It's not a euphemism. Blood clams have very high levels of hemoglobin inside them, the very same stuff in your red blood cells.


Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.