The Bellingham Herald reports on a Lummi Nation clam dig:
Recent low tides drew many Lummis to the sandy flats on and around Portage Island for harvest of horse clams, an important part of Coast Salish diet and culture.
Today’s generation of Lummis uses them fried, in chowder or chopped fine for fritters. Those that aren’t eaten soon after digging will be frozen for later use. But some of the elders still do what their ancestors did.
“They were very good dried, wind-dried” said Victoria Washington-Mamac. “They used to give them to the babies for teething.”
“You can smoke them or sun-dry them,” her son Matt Mamac added as he dug his spade into the heavy gray sand. “They turn out like jerky.”
The big, ugly bivalves live farther out than the more familiar “steamer” clams that hug the tide lines. They bear some resemblance to geoducks, but they are smaller, with more of a conventional clam shape.