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~ History of Classic Italian-American Clams Casino ~

6a0120a8551282970b01bb096ca88a970dClams casino is considered a classic Italian-American dish. Interestingly, clams casino is also considered a clams "on the halfshell" dish, and, the name has little to do with the gaming industry per se, although every casino restaurant or restaurant in the vicinity of a casino seems to have their variation of the dish on their menu.  Let's me put it this way, I've never been to a casino restaurant that didn't have it on the menu.  Clams casino, which means "big mess" in Italian, is a basic concoction of clams, bacon, butter, and breadcrumbs that work spectacularly together. Onion, garlic and bell peppers are common additions along with various herbs and seasonings.

It's a classic all-American dish with its roots in New England:

According to legend the recipe was developed in 1917 by Julius Keller, the maître d'hôtel of the Little Casino in Narragansett, Rhode Island, for a Mrs. Paran Stevens, who wanted to treat her guests to a special appetizer.  The dish was named "Casino" after the hotel and quickly became a signature appetizer throughout New England, then throughout the United States, including New Orleans, where oysters are substituted for clams.  It's worth mention that in the early decades of the last century, if a restaurant wanted to be well-known, they came up with a signature dish that involved the baking of shellfish, often with the meat taken out of the shell, prepared with a sauce, then returned to and served in the shell.  This dish became extremely popular with Italian-Americans, and to this day, has a spot on just about every trattoria menu.

Try my ~ Classier Classic Clams (on the half shell) Casino ~:

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c8c99756970b"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2o22O 


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