Clams casino

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Clams casino
Clams casino over rock salt with lemon and parsley garnish
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateRhode Island
Main ingredientsclam, breadcrumbs and bacon

Clams casino is a clam "on the halfshell" dish with breadcrumbs and bacon.[1] Green peppers are also a common ingredient.[2]

It originated in Rhode Island in the United States.[3] It is often served as an appetizer in New England and is served in variations nationally.


The dish uses littlenecks or cherrystone clams.[4] Other basic ingredients include butter, peppers, bacon and garlic.[5][6] Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, white wine, lemon juice, and shallots or onion are also used.[7] Tabasco sauce is sometimes added, and parsley is sometimes used as a garnish.


Clams casino

The clams, bacon, and other ingredients are cooked in various ways depending on the recipe, and then added with breading to half the clam shell and baked or broiled (grilled from above) to a golden brown.[8]

There are many variations on the dish,[9] but the constant factor is the bacon: "Bacon remains the major key to its success",[10] with some chefs recommending smoked bacon for its salty flavor and others advocating an unsmoked variety.


According to legend, the recipe for clams casino was originally developed in 1917 in the Little Casino in Narragansett, Rhode Island, by a maître d'hôtel for a woman of means wanting something special for her guests.[10][11][12] Good Housekeeping Great American Classics attributes the dish to Mrs. Paran Stevens and maître d'hôtel Julius Keller.[11] She named the dish after the hotel, and word and popularity of the dish has since spread across the United States, including New Orleans, where oysters are substituted for clams.[10] Clams casino remains a very popular dish in Rhode Island, "appearing on almost every menu".[3]

The Central Park Casino was offering "soft clams a la Casino" as early as 1900.[13]

According to Merrill Shindler, "in the first decades of this century [the 20th], if a restaurant wanted to be noted, it came up with a dish that involved the baking of shellfish".[14] While there was a profusion of this type of menu offering (often with the meat taken out of the shell, prepared with sauce, and returned to the shell), clams casino and oysters Rockefeller "are among the few surviving dishes from the shellfish fad".[14]

The dish is popular with Italian-Americans,[7] having "a permanent spot on just about every trattoria menu" in Little Italy, Manhattan,[6] and is considered an American classic.[10][15] Clams casino is often served at Italian festivals[9] and during the holidays[7] in the United States.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ruth Reichl, John Willoughby, Zanne Early Stewart The Gourmet Cookbook: More Than 1000 Recipes Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006 ISBN 0-618-80692-X, 9780618806928 1056 pages page 50 The Gourmet Cookbook
  2. ^ Zanger, Mark H. (2013). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Oxford University Press USA. p. 133. ISBN 9780199734962.
  3. ^ a b Beaulieu, Linda (2005). The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook: Big Recipes from the Smallest State. Globe Pequot. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-7627-3137-4.
  4. ^ Beaulieu, Linda (2005). The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook: Big Recipes from the Smallest State. Globe Pequot. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-7627-3137-4.
  5. ^ Scott-Goodman, Barbara (2005). The Beach House Cookbook. Chronicle. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-8118-4308-9.
  6. ^ a b Boulud, Daniel; Dorie Greenspan; Martha Stewart (1999). Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud Cookbook: French-American Recipes for the Home Cook. Simon & Schuster. p. 216. ISBN 978-0-684-86343-6.
  7. ^ a b c Stella, George (2005). George Stella's Livin' Low Carb: Family Recipes Stella Style. Simon & Schuster. pp. 148–49. ISBN 978-0-7432-6997-1.
  8. ^ Nenes, Michael F.; Joe Robbines (2006). American Regional Cuisine. John Wiley and Sons. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-471-68294-3.
  9. ^ a b Thompson, Fred (2006). The Big Book of Fish & Shellfish: More Than 250 Terrific Recipes. Chronicle. p. 235. ISBN 978-0-8118-4925-8.
  10. ^ a b c d Villas, James; Andrea Grablewski (2007). The Bacon Cookbook: More Than 150 Recipes from Around the World for Everyone's Favorite Food. John Wiley and Sons. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-470-04282-3.
  11. ^ a b Westmoreland, Susan; Beth Alle (2004). Good Housekeeping Great American Classics Cookbook. Hearst. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-58816-280-9.
  12. ^ Olver, Lynne M. (Winter 2009). "The Truth about Clams Casino". Gastronomica. 9 (1): 88–90. doi:10.1525/gfc.2009.9.1.88. Archived from the original on 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
  13. ^ "Casino Central Park: Menus: Whats on the menu?".
  14. ^ a b Merrill Shindler American Dish: 100 Recipes from Ten Delicious Decades Citadel Press, 2003, ISBN 0-8065-2488-X, 9780806524887, page 43 [1]
  15. ^ Moonen, Rick; Roy Finamore (2008). Fish Without a Doubt: The Cook's Essential Companion. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 280. ISBN 978-0-618-53119-6.