Sit in on one of Tasting Table's editorial meetings, and you'll hear disagreement. Polite disagreement, sure, but differing opinions nonetheless. "That is not the best slice in town." "I can't believe you didn't like the tasting menu!" "Eh, I'm sort of over coconut."
Yes, this particular dip brings us together and makes us want to sing "Kumbaya" while we scoop cool, creamy mounds of it onto thick-cut potato chips around a table made of dreams the color of the clear blue ocean (and we don't always agree on dips, by the way).
Chef Mike Price at his restaurant, The Clam, in NYC
Why do we adore it so? Maybe it's that chef Mike Price uses fresh top-neck clams that he cooks in white wine and garlic, then finely chops so you still taste their pleasantly chewy, briny bellies to make the dip—an update on the one his grandmother used to serve during the holidays near Maryland's Chesapeake Bay, which used an (gasp!) artificial flavor packet.
Maybe it's because the clams aren't merely a garnish. "If you look at the ratio of clams to sour cream, that's one reason why this is a good clam dip," Price laughs, showing us in his miniscule kitchen that there are, indeed, more clams than sour cream.
Maybe it's because he carefully balances the cream with a liberal dousing of lemon juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire and cayenne pepper. "The dip is about balancing sweet, acidity and spicy, and then I season it with salt," Price says, pouring in a hefty pinch of the kosher stuff before simply mixing everything together.
And maybe it's also because there's nothing we'd rather have a huge bowl of while watching the big game on Sunday. Sure, making it with fresh clams is a touch more work than popping open a can, but few things are more American than some old-fashioned elbow grease. And football.
Please check your inbox to verify your email address.