Tag Archives: machas a la parmesana

The Production Line

The strangest things can be controversial sometimes – like asking for apples when apples are out of season. Normally, I don’t think much about how food gets from its source to my plate. Except, in the case of apples, I know that you can store them for up to a year. No, it’s not ideal. But, people, it’s better than a potato chip. Moving on…

Part of the “source to plate” disconnect happened this weekend. We made machas a la parmesana (that translates to pink clams with parmesan cheese, but I’ve never seen a ‘pink clam’ in the U.S., so I’m going to say machas). We made them once before in a huge production line of machas. Still, I had no idea how much work goes into the process so that they come out looking like this (garnish included):

Machas a la Parmesana from vidanutrida.com

Last time I made them, someone must have done some secret pre-cleaning because my job consisted of placing a clean macha on a shell; adding butter, cheese, teaspoon of white wine; enjoy!

This time it was like, “Alright, Sara. You sit at the head of the table. You are going to take the macha like so between your thumb and index finger and push the guts out onto this plate. Understood? Have fun!”

“By guts…you…er mean the poop?”


“But, that’s disgusting.”

“Better than eating it.”

“So then you do it!” I can be very mature when I want to be.

I lost. I got macha pooper squeezer duty. I don’t know what was worse: the briny smell, or the sound effects I made for each macha (Bleh! Meh! Don’t kill me! Oh, why did I die constipated?), intermingled with “Grab my camera, this is good stuff!” (See comment on maturity.)

I have several pictures of the plate of macha innards, but I decided my readers would never forgive me for that. (You’re welcome.) After I finished my last macha, I looked at the plate and said, “This is why I never think about where my food comes from, because I’d have to think of macha innards. I didn’t even know machas had innards.  I thought they were like one-celled sea erasers.”

I’m definitely not an adventurous eater. Perhaps, I should rephrase that: I am definitely not an adventurous chef. I’ve got a long way before I’m this guy: 

But, I’d say I got pretty close this weekend with the macha squeezing action.