In this lively history and celebration of the Pacific razor clam, David Berger shares with us his love affair with the glossy, gold-colored Siliqua patula and gets into the nitty-gritty of how to dig, clean, and cook them using his favorite recipes. In the course of his investigation, Berger brings to light the long history of razor clamming as a subsistence, commercial, and recreational activity, and shows the ways it has helped shape both the identity and the psyche of the Pacific Northwest.
Towing his wife along to the Long Beach razor clam festival, Berger quizzes local experts on the pressing question: tube or gun? He illuminates the science behind the perplexing rules and restrictions that seek to keep the razor clam population healthy and the biomechanics that make these delicious bivalves so challenging to catch. And he joyfully takes part in the sometimes freezing cold pursuit that nonetheless attracts tens of thousands of participants each year for an iconic "beach-to-table" experience.
David Berger has been a contributor to the food feature, "Northwest Taste," in the Pacific Magazine, and is former art critic for the Seattle Times. He is a recipient of a Metcalf Fellowship for Marine and Environmental Reporting.