Pipis or clams are a sweet summer treat that brings back memories of childhood holidays, digging in the sand for these little pearls of meaty goodness. They're abundant at the markets now and are best cooked simply with some tomato, garlic with some spaghetti. The best reward for a day clamming!
Pipis and clams are some of my favourite things to eat and I don't mind that they're slightly fiddly to eat. I love the whole process of prising the meat out of the shell and scooping a little broth into my mouth. But I found out recently that not all my friends are as fond of pipis (a type of clam). The key is to only cook them briefly (like most seafood) so that they just open. Overcooking them makes them tough and chewy.
I was out to dinner one night with my friends and Girl Next Door took a deep breath as pipi broth was set down in front of her. She had had a bad experience with overcooked pipis that were so tough that she couldn't even chew or swallow them. It was her first week working at a food magazine and she was eager to make a good impression. However the pipi was so chewy that she had to spit it out into a napkin which of course a colleague saw. Ever since she has stayed away from them but that evening she was set to try them again. Queen Viv and Miss America took a pipi and declared that tonight was not the night for her to try them again as they were awfully chewy. Alas Girl Next Door never did get her pipi.
But when you cook pipis yourself, just cook them until they open. Seafood cooks very quickly and one of the advantages is that you can have a meal on the table very quickly! Just grab some of the sweet tomatoes that are around at the moment and have the sauce prepped and cooked while the pasta is cooking and you can have dinner ready in 15 minutes!
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever had a bad or embarrassing experience with food? Have you ever had something so chewy that you couldn't swallow it? What do you do in that situation?