Dylan Jones: If you ask me

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The Independent Online

If you ask me the razor clam is the only thing to eat right now (it's certainly the only mollusc to eat right now). Not exclusively of course, and obviously in moderation, and probably not for breakfast – not unless you're going for a late brunch at Scott's, which as you're asking is actually the right and proper place to eat them – but you get my drift. The razor clam, funny little thing that it is, is the funky foodstuff du jour.

For me, anyway.

In the past I have had many irrational culinary obsessions – in order of pungency, I can conjure up fresh anchovies, chorizo, giant caperberries, pig's trotters, Harlech cheese, sweet pickled cucumbers, grilled kidneys and the pale green cocktail tomolive (the tomato/ olive hybrid popular at the bar in the Bel Air Hotel in Los Angeles) just for starters – but the stringy little razor clam has come out of nowhere (well, off the Scottish coast actually, as that's where most of the ones we eat are harvested) and found a place in my kitchen.

In case you've been eating in all the wrong restaurants and haven't come across the wee sea beastie, it is long and thin and lives in a rectangular, almost corrugated shell, whose similarity to the old-fashioned cut-throat razor once gave it its name. The razor clam has been known to reach 20cm in length – principally so your children can use them as chopsticks or indeed nail files.

It has also become something of a staple of modern Catalan cooking, and although many people in Britain make the mistake of covering them in breadcrumbs and then baking them (to be eaten as an hors d'oeuvre with a fully accessorised Bloody Mary), one of the best and simplest ways of eating them is by grilling them with chorizo and garlic and broad beans (topped off with lemon and parsley), as a starter, while obviously "playing fisticuffs" with a bottle of chilled rioja. I had this dish once in Barcelona, and it not only taught me to be less squeamish about filter feeders, it also taught me to go to Barcelona more often.

To paraphrase Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, who can count "The Razor Boy" as one of the many dozens of classic songs they've written, "Will you still have a song to sing when the razor clam comes and takes your fancy things away?"

Dylan Jones is the editor of 'GQ'

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