BOSTON (CBS) – We need more civic education and activism among our young people, not less.

So I’m always happy to see a group of school kids file or rally around a bill on Beacon Hill, as students from Taunton have done, with a measure that will have its public hearing at the Statehouse today before the Committee on Tourism.

I wish the kids well, and congratulate their teachers.

But if they’re really going to learn the facts of life about politics, they’re going to have to get used to the possibility that a bill you push might draw some pushback.

And I’m afraid I have a problem with their bill.

They want to make the quahog the official shellfish of Massachusetts.

Now, I love my quahogs just as much as any other New Englander. Raw on the half-shell with some lemon and, maybe, a little horseradish; sautéed over linguine; any old way.

But they’re far from unique to Massachusetts.

Actually, Rhode Island is considered the heart of quahog country, and they even have the quahog already as their official shell.

If the idea is to somehow help promote tourism, while also honoring the unique ingenuity of Massachusetts culture, I suggest we make it the official shellfish dish instead, which opens up a whole range of marketing options to help us achieve our goal, the separation of as many visitors as possible from as much of their money as possible.

We could debate the relative promotional merits of the fried clam, created right here in Ipswich.

The tourists already think we eat chowder 24/7, let’s make that the official shellfish dish and cash in.

Or we could choose a clam-based dish that truly expresses our native attitude towards residents of the lower 49 states – stuffies.

Kids, I love your spunk.

But the state needs commerce right now as much or more than another history lesson.

So consider embracing my amendment, and when the tourism dollars increase, we’ll celebrate with stuffies all around.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


Comments (8)
  1. edsb19612297 says:

    The fried clam was not invented in Ipswich It was created in Essex Ma. Have you been to Woodmans?

  2. culturedclam says:

    If anyone’s looking for “A Reason To Believe” that they can afford to buy Gov. Patrick Periwinkle’s book, there are twelve of them sitting on Ebay. No rush though as the last time I checked there were 0 bids. Do I here $6.99? Nope.

    I bet the publishing company is praying for “A Reason To Believe” why they won’t be stuck with a warehouse full of these books. Do I hear .69? Crickets.

  3. BostonIrish says:

    esdb-whether it was Ipswich or Essex, I don’t mind. Woodman’s is awesome. We had our summer outing at the Essex River Club. After, we hit Woodman’s Fried Clams with the Bellies! Yummos!

  4. Italo says:

    Is it called………..The Clam Box, or Shack?………….in Rowley/Ipswich? Now THAT is pure fried seafood Nirvana to me. Bring that on this summer! :)

  5. mikey says:

    Forget the generic quahog as the state shellfish. That distinction should be awarded to the world famous Wellfleet oyster, sold on the half-shell at Fenway I believe.

    The 2007 National Oyster Opening Champion – 2008 World Champion Oyster Opening Champion “Chopper Young” lives in Wellfleet as well.

    Then there’s Oysterfest scheduled this year for Oct. 15 & 16, 2011 which attracts between eight to ten thousand people each year. Has anyone ever heard of Quahogfest? Please.

    For fried clams on the lower Cape, PJ’s and Catch of the Day in Wellfleet are both terrific. Arnold’s in Eastham as well.

  6. emom says:

    Fried clams are the best , and to have them be the shell fish of the state, sounds good… Oysters not a fav of many , but its there, Also there is muscles, those are good in many sauces, wine and garlic …. But Quahog’s nah,,,, its in the clam family anyway so make the clams the shell fish …..

  7. BostonIrish says:

    Mikey, Catch of the Day, Good food! I love that place! And I have heard of a quahogfest, sadly.

    1. mikey says:

      C’mon down! Weather’s great!

      Quahogs are for chowderheads.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s