Clams are a delicacy that seafood lovers can’t get enough of. Whether you’re enjoying them in a creamy chowder, grilled to perfection, or tossed in a garlicky pasta, clams are a versatile ingredient that can take your meals to the next level. But when it comes to buying clams, there are two camps: those who swear by the briny goodness of fresh clams, and those who turn to canned clams for a quick and easy seafood fix.
But which is truly superior – the fresh, wild-caught mollusks harvested from the ocean or the conveniently packaged canned clams that can be found on grocery store shelves? Let’s dive into the debate and shell out the facts on canned clams vs. fresh clams, which one is the best canned clams to buy?
Why should you choose Fresh Clams?
First up, fresh clams. There’s something undeniably satisfying about cracking open a fresh clam and slurping up the briny goodness inside. Fresh clams are typically sold in their shells, so you’ll need to do some prep work before you can cook with them. This involves cleaning the clams to remove any sand or grit, and then shucking them to remove the meat from the shell. It can be a bit of a hassle, but for many seafood aficionados, it’s all part of the experience.
One of the biggest advantages of fresh clams is their flavor. When cooked properly, fresh clams have a sweet, salty taste that’s hard to beat. Plus, you can be sure that you’re getting a fresh, high-quality product that hasn’t been sitting on a shelf for who knows how long. Fresh clams also offer a wide variety of types to choose from, including littleneck, cherrystone, and quahog clams.
However, fresh clams do come with some drawbacks. For one, they can be expensive, especially if you don’t live near a coastline where they’re readily available. Additionally, the cleaning and shucking process can be time-consuming, and most of the time sand remains in the clams despite the cleaning. So, they’re not the best option if you’re looking for a quick and easy meal. 
Why you should choose Canned Clams?
Canned clams are a more popular option than fresh clams for those who want the taste of seafood without the hassle of cleaning and shucking fresh clams. They’re also more affordable than their fresh counterparts, making them a great option for those on a budget. Canned clams are also incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from clam chowder to linguine alle vongole.
Unlike fresh clams, which may only be available during certain times of the year or in certain regions, canned clams can be found at any grocery store at any time of the year. They’re also incredibly easy to store, as they don’t require refrigeration until they’re opened.
However, canned clams have a slightly different flavor than fresh clams. Canned clams may have a slightly metallic taste due to the canning process, and they may also be slightly softer in texture than fresh clams. Additionally, some canned clams may contain added preservatives or sodium, so be sure to read the label carefully before making a purchase. 
How to Eat Canned Clams?
Canned clams can be eaten directly from the can, added to recipes such as chowders or pasta dishes, or used as a topping for pizza or salads. Before consuming, make sure to check for any signs of spoilage, such as an off odor or unusual color.
Can you Fry Canned Clams?
Yes, canned clams can be fried. To do so, drain the clams and pat them dry with a paper towel. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and add the clams. Cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or as a topping for salads or pasta dishes.
Can Eat Canned Clams Raw?
It is not recommended to eat canned clams raw because they have already been cooked during the canning process, and consuming them raw may increase the risk of foodborne illness. It is always best to cook canned clams before consuming them, either by adding them to a recipe or heating them on the stove.
Are canned clams safe to eat?
If you’re wondering whether are canned clams good for your health or not? Then fret not. Canned clams are safe to eat as long as they are not spoiled or past their expiration date. The canning process involves cooking the clams at high temperatures, which kills any harmful bacteria and preserves the clams.
Are you looking for healthy canned clam recipes?
So, which one should you choose? Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preferences and priorities. If you’re a seafood purist who values flavor above all else, fresh clams are probably your best bet. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable and convenient option that still offers a taste of the ocean, canned clams are a great choice.
If you’re still unsure, why not try both and see which one you prefer? Experiment with different canned clams recipes and cooking techniques to really get a feel for the differences between canned and fresh clams. You may even find that you like both for different reasons.