The Summer of the Stuffie

The stuffies at Skipper's Dock in Stonington Borough are loaded with linguica.

In June, in researching a food page story for an event at Langworthy Farm Winery, I tagged along with Peter Huoppi to Seafood Etc. in Pawcatuck to see a batch of stuffies being made. You can view Peter’s video here.

That marked the beginning of a summer-long obsession with stuffed quahogs — a bread crumb and minced clam mixture that is baked and served on the half shell.

Betty and I enjoyed them at Langworthy, along with some of the farm’s fine wines, as part of their Stuffies on the Deck event, and then at restaurants in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

The best? I’d have to say those came at Skipper’s Dock in Stonington Borough, which were served Portuguese style, with big hunks of linguica poking out from the breadcrumbs.

The worst, surprisingly came at a Newport, R.I., restaurant even though the Ocean State supplies a quarter of the nation’s total annual commercial quahog catch and the stuffie is considered a state treasure. They also had linguica, but the little pieces didn’t add much flavor, and I don’t remember finding a clam. The bread crumb mixture was incredibly dry.

Who do you think makes the best stuffie? (If you’ve never had the pleasure, try one next time you see it on a menu, or drop by Seafood Etc. and bring some home.)

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