Tired of Potato Chips? Have a Bite of Baby Clams.


Why not give these a go instead of Doritos?

Westerners have long been in a rut where commercial snacks are concerned. Walk into any bodega, and your choices are likely to be limited to dozens of flavors of potato chips in a bewildering number of sizes and shapes, or dough-based snacks that have been extruded, molded, or die-cut. Or Pringles, which are somewhere in between. These snacks — unless they’re advertised as “baked” — are generally very high in fat, salt, and raw calories. And, as the slogan goes, Who can eat just one?

But there’s a whole world of snacks out there unknown to most Americans, manufactured from a number of natural sources, including things made from sea creatures. Walk into any Chinatown supermarket, and you have your pick.

This snack, in particular, is made with baby clams (really, they verge on being fetuses) that have been fried in soybean oil, then coated with soy sauce, sugar, and a restrained amount of chiles, so you can feel the merest burn on your lips. The silvery, eye-catching bag and its contents originated in Thailand.

Not fishy in the least, they’re really quite delicious. The best part is that, in contrast to starchy snacks, the baby clams are relatively low in calories, and eating an entire bag takes some time and leaves you feeling very full.

And the calorie count for an entire bag of the miniature creatures is only 70. So if you’re feeling famished, eat two bags.

Crisp and slightly leathery, these baby clams are much better — and better for you — than potato chips.