A New Commodity: Wider Distribution
Oh! Kingly clam,
the shot-gun’s slam
Shall make the creeks
and marshes ring,
And shouts shall raise
to sing thy praise,
Thou royal bivalve mollusk king.
-Excerpt from "The Ispwich Clam" by Jesse Fewkes
At the turn of the century, as clam-crazed tourists returned home from coastal jaunts, demand increased for this newly fashionable food. Restaurant-goers around the country expected to see clams on the menu regardless of proximity to the ocean. By the 1920s and ‘30s, clam and seafood houses serving favorites like fried Ipswich clams and Boston clam chowder began popping up in places like New York City. Thanks to new refrigeration technologies, New England clams could even be served raw on the half-shell just about anywhere.
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