Student Experience Blog

Consider the Clam

Humanity should ban the practice of selling clams in excess of 500 miles from the ocean. A clam quickly becomes the perfect containment device for the next super virus. It’s a petri dish, but less sanitary. Only the most steel-stomached or desperate should attempt to pry open a clam and vacuum out its insides if a saltwater beach isn’t in sight. Come to think of it, eating a clam is not a thing you can proudly do. Eating a clam is the dining equivalent of picking your nose in public, if you lock eyes with someone while in the act, you’re done for. Forget asking what the first person to discover dairy was doing squeezing cow udders; let’s think about the person driven to slurping grey putty out of sea rock.

It might not be so bad if clams were cheap. There are a lot of horrible, cheap, foods that are eaten out of necessity that can be excused. A clam, on the other hand, is not filling, basically tasteless, and a total wallet breaker. The best thing that can happen with a clam is if it accumulates sand and sits in perfect conditions to form a gem stone. If there is something you eat that is also meant to trap sediment, a dissociative ritual took place before you decided to spend money to eat it in front of other people.

Despite this, the Dutch Goose in Caldwell, Idaho leans into their “Specialty” “Steamed Clams” as an advertisement piece. Are “steamed” clams a thing? Was “steamed” included to invoke a picture of sanitation, like a scalding shower to process inmates at a penitentiary? Did they want to put it out in the open, so diners wouldn’t stumble upon steamed clams, hidden somewhere on the back of the menu, and call for an investigation? After learning a restaurant could legally hide something like Rocky Mountain Oysters in plain sight, skepticism should probably be leveled at Dutch Goose Clams.

Why is there no goose at the Dutch Goose? At this point, why not call it the Dutch Clam if they’re going to be so audacious to suggest that the boiling of crustaceans is their specialty? “I’m going clammin’ tonight!” even sounds better. Can you specialize in steaming clams? Steaming something really isn’t the pinnacle of culinary finesse, and steaming a creature that could never reach a “good consistency” seems even more arbitrary. What might be enough to tempt a responsible person to try these “steamed clams” is a penicillin booster and a life insurance waiver.

I offer this as constructive criticism. The Goose is one of my favorite places to ruin an evening. The prices can’t be beat, and it is “A Place Where Friends Meet”. Although, a lot of the new people I see at the Dutch Clam Goose do not look like people that look like they want to be friends with me. It’s a miracle that I haven’t been stabbed with a halved pool cue for ordering something ‘fancier’ than a Coors Light.

I have not tried these steamed clams. I was not able to find anyone who had tried them. I would imagine anyone who has and lived to tell the tale is so plagued with survivor’s guilt that they would prefer to remain anonymous than to revisit and publish the excruciating experience. What I, and my colleagues, should hope is that the clam is meant to be understood allegorically. If anyone asks for them, I would hope that the wait staff at the Dutch Goose replies that the clam is for all who visit the Dutch Goose. Although the exterior may be rough and uninviting, you may just find a treasure inside. And that treasure, of course, is heavily discounted pitchers on a Wednesday night.  

David Losinski is a senior political economy major from Idaho Falls, Idaho.