Growing up on the SouthCoast, I remember clambakes cooked in the sand and seaweed in Fairhaven. Fresh quahogs for soup and stuffing were buried just beneath the surface, waiting to be discovered by toes raking the sand.

Clam boils at Danny's, Chippy's, The Bayle's Square, or my Uncle Bob's backyard with fresh whole clams, potatoes, sausage, linguica, white fish, onions, hot dogs, corn, broth and drawn butter meant it was a summer Sunday on the SouthCoast.

Fried clams with New England clam chowder and clam cakes were only a short drive away in Onset, Cape Cod or Gene's in Fairhaven – sweet, clean, whole belly clams fried in batter served with french fries, cole slaw, and tartar sauce.

Hey South Coast, What Exactly Are Clam Strips Anyway?
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People come from all over to enjoy the rich delicacies harvested from the sea and cooked to perfection here in New England – but when they get here, they ask for clam strips.

Clam strips? What the heck is a clam strip anyway?

Clam strips, often found in a chain or fast food restaurant or frozen food aisles at the local supermarket, are enough to make any true mollusk lover blush.

Adam Geringer-Dunn of Greenpoint Fish and Lobster in Brooklynn, New York, says, "Clam strips are made from large surf clams, shucked, pounded flat, and cut into strips."

Hey South Coast, What Exactly Are Clam Strips Anyway?
Dicky's Clam Shack & Dicky's Ice Cream - Dartmouth via Facebook

Dunn tells Tasting that clam strips are "much chewier and lack nearly all the delicious clam flavor you get from whole belly clams."

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So why would anyone opt for clam strips over whole belly clams? Unless you are near the ocean, it may be your only alternative, in which case I would take a pass.

Some who live near the ocean still prefer clam strips over whole belly clams. I suspect the chewy texture has a lot to do with it.

Clam strips are to clams what chicken nuggets are to chicken. Might as well just order a hot dog.

The Dishes to Try Most at Over 100 SouthCoast Restaurants

From the freshest seafood you can find to some of the best dang Portuguese dishes outside of Portugal itself, there are so many dishes to enjoy and love here on the SouthCoast, and we put 'em all into one spot. Check out more than 100 of the SouthCoast's favorite restaurants, and let us know if your favorites made the list.

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