Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Vermont Journal: Clamming Up

Is there some reason why the fried clams and clam chowder in landlocked Vermont are delicious while those on Long Island which is surrounded by water suck? Is there some reason why the strips and bellies on Long Island tend to be tough and emaciated while those in Vermont are tender and luscious? Is there some reason why fried clams in many places on Long Island seem like they've been frozen while those in Vermont taste fresh? Why is one of the best fried clam rolls in the United States to be found at the roadside stand outside the Chelsea Royal Diner in Brattleboro, while those served in comparable establishments in the Hamptons are meager by contrast. And why are there such an abundance of lobster rolls and lobster in Vermont. Recently for example a lobster dinner was offered on the Woodstock green for the modest price of $30. How many places in Maine can compete with that? We live in a rational universe in which there's a scientific explanation for everything. Is there a species of fresh water clam, a secret trove originally discovered by Ethan Allen and now hidden away in clandestine underwater caverns in the Green Mountains? Perhaps the answer is more simple. People want what they can’t have. It’s comparable to the New Yorker who's in love with being a Parisian and cuts the cheese before he serves dessert or the Parisian who to the horror of his countrymen speaks Franglais. Maybe it’s a little like what they say about married men and illicit sex. Just because they can read the menu doesn’t mean they have to order.

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