A Fried Clam Shortage is Happening in Connecticut Due to Hurricane Elsa
We've seen the toll that a natural disaster can take on the nation's supply chain. A hurricane from the Gulf of Mexico can cause your gas, oil, toilet paper, household goods, etc. to experience a slight or a huge bump in price overnight. I haven't purchased beef lately because I don't feel like taking out a line of credit just to purchase a fat ribeye.
For the first two weeks of July 2021, we were keeping an eye on Hurricane Elsa here in CT. Elsa made landfall in Florida (You Say?) on July 1 and slowly crept up the East coast towards us, just grazing us, but it did hit Rhode Island, Eastern Massachusetts and the Cape with 50 mph winds on July 9, 2021.
We've all seen The Perfect Storm by now, and Deadliest Catch, so while it's not impossible to fish during a strong storm, it's highly dangerous and discouraged. When the fishermen can't get out to catch, we go hungry. That's what's happened this past week around here.
Mrs. Large and I went out to grab dinner last night and we went to one of our favorites, Frankie's Family Restaurant at 464 Reidville Drive in Waterbury. It was a beautiful night and I was in the mood for their delicious summer time treat, Fried Clam Strips, or if they were available, Fried Whole Bellies. To my disappointment, neither were available. But it wasn't just the Reidville Drive Frankie's that were sold out, all of the Frankie's were.
If I had done my homework before I left the house, I would have seen the Facebook post that Frankie's had put up on their social media on Tuesday.
I asked the workers behind the counter what was happening and I also spoke with Tom at the Brookfield Frankie's. They both told me that due to the fishing grounds being closed from Hurricane Elsa, from dangerous conditions weather-wise and the bacterial runoff from all that rain washing into the flats and ponds, there was a significant delay in getting the fishermen and clammers back out fishing and digging.
Tom also told me that it's a widespread problem. All 7 Frankie's locations around Connecticut are out of clam strips and they've tried to order from many distributors, including Oakville's Tony & Sons Seafood, but no clams. Tom told me that they hope to have deliveries by today or Monday which is good news. It's supposed to be a beautiful summer weekend, and they would be able to sell them as fast as the shuckers in Rhode Island, Mass and CT can pop them open.