Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

April 19, 2012


People from outside New England see the word 'quahog' and pronounce it "Kwa-hog'.  This is how we know who is an outsider and who isn't.  "The Family Guy" has helped many people to realize that the proper pronunciation is "Co-hog", as the show is set in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island.  But what is it?

Quahogs are a specific kind of clam.  Most everyone in this area has been quahogging at some point in their lives.  My dad took me a couple times when I was little.  It was one of his fave things to do, to don his hip waders, grab his quahog bucket and rake, and head out to the shellfishing grounds all over the Upper Cape, best harvested from the sandbars at low tide.  Mom and I would eagerly await his arrival home because that meant stuffed quahogs later that day!!!!

How does one find these buried clams without spending hours of fruitless digging?  You look for little holes in the sand, which means there's a clam underneath using the hole to breathe.  I remember one time my dad was digging for them on a huge sand bar and I was walking around, poking holes in the sand with a stick, as a joke.  He did not think it was at all amusing.  Come to think of it that was the last time I was

The local Native Americans made wampum from the purple part of the shells, which is what they used as currency.  I can't stop myself from picking up the shards of deep purple shells that litter the beaches here.  

Cape Cod is now apparently known as "Quahog Nation".  This is new since I last lived here.

Every child thinks their parents make the best stuffed quahogs, and I am no different.  My dad's looked like these except he garnished the top with a small piece of bacon before putting it in the oven to bake.  I couldn't WAIT for them to come out.  He'd caution me, "Watch out! Those shells are extremely hot!", but being a kid I'd still end up with a couple burned fingertips from grabbing at them.  I'll have to see if my mom remembers dad's recipe.   All I know is that the clam is chopped really fine and mixed with bread crumbs and spices, and then is served with melted butter.    
Who knows, maybe I'll send the squeeze out to dig for some this summer and make them myself!! 


  1. Greetings, JoJo!

    That photo at the top of your blog is nothing short of amazing! I've never seen anything like that. I'm a cloud watcher! Clouds create their own art and I think it's so beautiful!

    Wow- I am in awe!

    Great "Q" word for today! I've seen people swallow clams as if they were the best tasting things in the world. As for me - just the thought doesn't allow me to put it anywhere near my mouth; at least not raw.

    I don't know if I could be brave enough to even taste them baked. The way your dad cooked them sounds appetizing and tempting, however, I don't know!

    Thanks for the history lesson, JoJo!

    Very interesting lesson! Really like your blog!

    Glad to follow you!

  2. VERY interesting, Jo!! LOVE that T-shirt!!

  3. I believe I've seen that episode of Family Guy. I was at first guilty of the kwa-hog. But I was corrected. hehe

    I love clams! I just boil 'em with ginger, salt and pepper and voila! I do add scallions. Yummy!

    A Ladybug's Life


  4. Interesting post! I sure would have butchered the pronunciation. :)

  5. No, have to close my vegetarian eyes for this one.

  6. Chow-dah? Not if you're from Brooklyn!!!! Chow-der, co-hog friend!

  7. Interesting!!! :D
    Happy A to Z!

  8. In their raw state I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole, but once cooked, they do look delicious - though I've not a clue as to how good they taste?

  9. Hi Betty! thanks for coming by! Glad you like that pic of Mt. Rainier; I broke a ton of traffic laws trying to get home from work to get that shot.

    Ruby, I WANT that tshirt. lol

    Sonnia, you'd love these then, if you eat clams like that. I would, however, like to see you eat a Hood Canal oyster. ;D

    Tracy, don't feel bad, everyone from outside here mispronounces it! lol

    Val, sorry about that!

    Barbra, forgot you were in NY! BTW, Red Sox forever. :D

    Thanks for stopping by A Tarkabarka Holgy!

    Mark, Quahogs taste less clammy than clam chowdah. Because the meat is chopped so small, mixed with bread crumbs & melted butter, and topped w/ a small piece of bacon, there are many, many flavours. OMG they are soooo good. It's almost worth the allergic rash to eat one again.

  10. I live in MA, so I am quite familiar with the quahog. And they are indeed yummy. I remember when I was a kid, every year our next door neighbor would come back from vaca at the Cape and would spend all morning outside on this big cooker thing making up a giant Quahog Chowder. He used tomatoes in it like Manhattan Clam Chowder, not white like New England Chowder. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. It was so damn good!!! Now you've got me wishing my parents would have gotten his secret recipe from him.

  11. I've just hopped over from Abracadabra's blog. Just had to click on your link after seeing that you like the TV off, and that you prefer quiet over music.

    I really like your Q post as well. Next time we're at the coast, we'll have to dig some, especially where the holes are. :-)