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Deliciously crunchy and filled with fresh seafood flavor, fried clams are a New England staple. And people from the rest of the world can enjoy them too, of course, especially on National Fried Clam Day!

History of National Fried Clam Day

The story goes that Lawrence “Chubby” Woodman of Essex, Massachusetts was the first person to make deep fried clams, in 1916. As one if Woodman’s specialties was making potato chips, he already had the vats and oil, so frying the clams was not a far stretch. Especially in Massachusetts, which is on the eastern coast of the US, where clam digging is especially popular. 

This event is noted to have taken place on July 3, one day prior to American Independence Day, so Chubby and his wife, Bessie, decided to set up a stall to sell them to the people of their community. They were an instant hit and grew in popularity from that time.

Almost 100 years after fried clams got their start, Woodman’s of Essex, the seafood restaurant that is still in business, initiated the founding of National Fried Clam Day in 2015. Since then, the day is celebrated annually in Essex, Massachusetts as well as other places around the globe, by people who just love fried clams.

How to Celebrate National Fried Clam Day

Spend National Fried Clam Day paying homage to this tasty piece of New England history. Try out some of these ideas for celebrating the day:

Enjoy Eating Fried Clams

As suspected, the best way to enjoy this day is to pile up a plate of fried clams and eat them! Those who live on the Atlantic coast of the United States probably won’t have any trouble with this, as fried clam stands can be easily found. In fact, New Englanders might consider the addiction to fried clams to be a rite of passage!

Inlanders might find it a bit more difficult, but it’s still possible to celebrate National Fried Clam Day at a local seafood restaurant. In fact, some restaurants, like Red Lobster or Joe’s Crab Shack, might even offer discounts and deals in honor of the day.

Try Making Fried Clams at Home

While it can be nice to have someone make fried clams for you, perhaps it would be fun to try making them at home! It’s not a complicated process. Start with steamer clams, dip in buttermilk, then coat in a batter made from corn flour, all-purpose flour and some spices. Deep fry in peanut or canola oil. Enjoy served with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs!

Visit Woodman’s of Essex

In honor of National Fried Clam Day, pay a visit to the place where it all began in northeastern Massachusetts! Less than an hour’s drive from Boston, award-winning Woodman’s offers a down-home feel with delicious seafood. The menu includes fried clams (of course!), shrimp, fish, clam chowder, clam cakes, salmon burgers, kids’ meals and more.

Those who can’t make the trip all the way to Massachusetts can shop online to order Boston lobsters, Clam Chowder kits, Fried Clam kits or Woodman’s logo merchandise like t-shirts, caps, dish towels and even a puzzle.

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