I usually make my clam chowder using a combination of canned chopped and whole baby clams. Finding the right kind of live clams has always been a challenge for me, regardless of where I live. However, when I do see them in the seafood case – I snab them because nothing beats the liquor (clam juice) from the steaming pot for making incredible clam chowder.
Fortunately for me, the clam juice is the goal, because I cannot resist the steamed clams themselves – those little delicious clams just waiting for me to eat them is more than I can stand. So when I do find clams ready to cook, I still buy the canned goodies because I know that the actual clam won’t make it into the stew or soup or anywhere else other than into my mouth.