Woodman's still uses the recipe Chubby developed 100 years ago. It calls for evaporated milk, 100% cornmeal, and 100% lard for frying. This recipe happens to be naturally gluten-free, a fact not lost on Woodman's trend-savvy marketers. The restaurant even does a dairy-free version on request by using coconut milk for the soak. Its goal is to give the people what they want, after all. "This is where you come to get fried clams," Woodman says simply, with a gesture that takes in not just his family's century-old business but the river beyond us.
North Atlantic shellfish beds supply raw bars around the country. The ubiquity of the lobster roll needs no more proof than a summertime McDonald's menu. But it takes a visit to this ocean-washed corner of the country to understand that what you've had elsewhere is only an homage to the authentic experience. Craving the perfect messy mouthful of burstingly rich lobster roll, or the fleeting, salty-sweet taste of a true fried clam? Sorry, rest of the world. You'll have to come to us.