Blood Clams on the Menu Tonight at Cove

Photo by Paula Murphy
Blood clams are on the menu tonight at Cove.
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.

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Location Info


2502 Algerian Way, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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My Voice Nation Help

Sparrow's had em for a few days, now.  Super tasty.


Speaking of deadly delicacies, I heard that JP, and Michiru down the street, occasionally serve up fugu, or pufferfish. Please give us a heads up if that's the case.

Bruce_Are topcommenter

I thought blood clams only came in the bearded variety.

Linda Kirbow
Linda Kirbow

What sick fuck came up with this nasty idea? Whats next, blood turds?

Carter Goforth
Carter Goforth

Looks like a bowl of amputated vaginas. So yes. I would totally eat that.

kshilcutt moderator editor

 @Bruce_Are I was waiting for someone to mention that there's black hair on the exterior of the clams...

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