Clam lovers celebrate a Rhode Island favorite, the quahog, this weekend at the annual quahog festival in Warren.
The hard shell clams, which live mud flats from Canada to Florida, are considered a local delicacy on Narragansett Bay. Matunuck Oyster Bar’s head chef Jeffrey Cruff prepares more than 100 stuffed quahogs a day.
“It’s something that you can’t get everywhere," Cruff noted. "We’re a shore restaurant. Rhode Island has lots of fish shacks and seafood places that are right on the shore, and literally you can find a quahog in just about every body of water that’s on our coast.”
Quahogs can range in size, but when it comes to the biggest bivalves, Cruff said there's just one way to prepare them.
"The traditional New England-style stuffie. That’s about the only thing that we would do with them. ”
The stuffie, or stuffed clam as its known outside of Rhode Island, combines bits of chopped clam with breadcrumbs and seasoning, which are baked and served inside a large clam shell.
Cruff said chorizo sausage is the secret to his favorite version, which he serves up at Matunuck Oyster Bar.