Two different methods of gathering razor clams
The following post was kindly sent to us by Woodlore customer Emma Wennersten:
Dear all at Woodlore,
I watched recently on the Discovery channel one of your Wild Foods shows, where you and the good Professor gathered food from the ocean (including sea buckthorn and seldom have I seen such unappetising goo…).
Anyway, when you got to the razor clams I was surprised to see you use salt to get them out. My boyfriend has been taking me to gather razor clams for years here in the west of Ireland and I didn’t even know you could use salt. What he does (and I, but I suck at it to be quite frank) is take a sharpish knife with a long blade (a breadknife is good) and walk very slowly up to the breathing hole that indicates that there is a razor clam.
You then slide the knife, not point first but rather the whole sharp side in and downwards towards where the clam should be. Start a good 2-3 inches away from the hole at least. You will feel the edge catching the clam shell, then all you have to do is dig it up – your knife pressing against it stops it from digging its way to freedom.
I am only writing this because at the time of that program at least, Ray stated that he wasn’t sure how our ancestors would have caught the razor clams. He may well have found out by now but this is the way we do it!
You can see Ray’s method of gathering razor clams in the following video clip, taken from the BBC DVD Ray Mears Wild Food: