Clams should be closed and smell like the ocean: fresh, briny, salty; never foul or fishy! As soon as you get home, float them in cool water with a pinch of all-purpose flour to remove the sand and dirt inside the clams. After about five minutes, rinse and scrub the clam shells with a soft brush.
To help with opening the shell, put in the freezer about 15 minutes before trying to open the shell. Insert a small paring knife (sharp edge) into the side of the chilled clam opposite the hinge side. Now cut along the inside of the top shell to detach the clam. The clam can now be served in the shell or scrape it from the shell for serving.
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