February 1, 2006

File Under: Not

I have never drunk Clamato.

This is because the name led me to suspect there might be clams in it. CLAMato. Like clams + tomatoes. The name spooked me. I was actively AFRAID to drink Clamato, even though the very idea that there would be a beverage ACTUALLY made out of CLAMS and TOMATOES is so patently SILLY that fearing it is akin to fearing that the cedar chest where your husband stores his sweaters is chock full of murderous pirates.

It's not that I think about Clamato much, but last night, yacking with Mir on the phone, we were discussing new Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and why it is not as good as Diet Cherry Coke but still infinately superior to Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper. See, to me, Coke is not really a flavor. Flavors COME from something in nature.

Lemon flavored things come from lemons, like that. But you don't find COKES growing in the wild and emitting coke flavor. Coke is as neutral as your favorite black loafers---goes with just about anything. Even peanuts go great in a coke. So if you want to put black cherry AND vanilla in coke, it's like red and yellow with black shoes----you are still fine. BUT, Dr. Pepper IS a flavor. In fact it is a blend of 23 different fruit flavors according to the The Highly Unofficial alt.fan.dr-pepper FAQ and when you add black Cherry and Vanilla to TWENTYFREAKINTHREE other flavors, it is one too many. I could have allowed the good Dr. to add Vanilla, or even just the cherry, but 25 flavors and your single soda is edging awfully close to territory that has already been righteously peed upon and claimed by Baskin-Robbins.

Mir and I whipped ourselves up into a hysterical frenzy over what flavors are actually in Dr. Pepper (you don't want to know, trust me, but one my FAVORITE of her guesses was "Thumbs"). Then I put forth my 25 is too many flavors theory, and she said, "Yeah, really! Why don't they go ahead and throw in some CLAMATO while they are at it." Which made me snort Diet Cherry Coke out my nose. (Helpful Aside: Diet Cherry Coke is the best soda in the unverse, but running it over your sinuses is not the most pleasant way to experience it.)

I was laughing myself sick. I said, "You know, I used to be afraid of Clamato because I thought it was made out of clam juice and tomatoes, HA HA HA! CLAM JUICE! AND TOMATOES! IMAGINE! HA!


Mir: Um, it IS made out of clam juice juice and tomatoes.
Me: Get real.
Mir: I always THOUGHT it was.
Me: Can't possibly be. It's just a bad name for off-brand V-8.
Mir: I know! Let's ask WIKIPEDIA!

Guess what? IT IS WORSE. It is tomatoes and DRIED RECONSTITUTED CLAM JUICE. GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Sick, I tell you, SICK. I'm befoozled and horrifed to the point that I think something in my cedar chest just said "Arrrrggghhh, Mateys!" Hand to God.

PS: Considering my mental illness number, I think I deserve a little pat for not naming this entry "You Say ClaMAYto, I Say ClaMAHto."

Posted by joshilyn at February 1, 2006 4:42 PM

As I am married to a Coke delivery driver, I agree with you. I despised vanilla coke in that form but loved it at waffle house or anywhere they'd put real vanilla into a real coke. This new creation isn't too bad, but its not as good as just the basic cherry coke.

As for Clamato...just one word.... MercifulChristGawdAwful.


Posted by: Tina at February 1, 2006 4:56 PM

Clamato sounds like a cream you'd use somewhere unmentionable. Who markets this stuff? Better yet, who in their right mind BUYS this stuff? GROSS! Offer it to the pirates when they clamber out of the cedar chest. That'll scare 'em right off! ;)

Posted by: Amy-GO at February 1, 2006 5:07 PM

You left out all the best parts! The generic tomato-clam cocktails! How only KRAUT JUICE (full of krauty... something) is more polarizing!!

Truly amongst one of the most memorable discussions I've had lately.

Posted by: Mir at February 1, 2006 5:35 PM

P.S. *patpat*

Posted by: Mir at February 1, 2006 5:36 PM

Coming from Canada, where the almighty Cesaer is almost a national drink (bloody mary with clamato instead of tomato), I decided to stop in and let you know it's not that bad.

Of course then I tried to think of how to describe the differences between it and tomato juice, and the best I can come up with is that it's not as thick, and it tastes a little bit salty. Seriously though, when watered down with enough alcohol and spices it's pretty darn good.

Posted by: Monica at February 1, 2006 7:13 PM

Hmmm, makes me wonder how they came up with that one. It makes me wonder where the scary people are that experiment with clam juice. Ugh.....and pat pat pat

Posted by: Robbie at February 1, 2006 9:29 PM

Since I now think of Johnny Depp and Geoffery Rush whenever I think of pirates, it would be difficult for me not to open the cedar chest.... but clamato sounds truly horrible.

Is there a story behind Scott's socks in the cedar chest since they inspire you to think about pirates??

Posted by: Elizabeth at February 1, 2006 9:31 PM

*snicker* I have never even heard of Clamato.

Posted by: Heather at February 1, 2006 10:24 PM

We actually saw it at the grocery the other day. We took a momnet to stand still and mock it. There is a picture of clams and tomatoes living in hamony on the front. I think it's wrong.

Posted by: Autumn at February 2, 2006 1:30 AM

It does beg the question, how exactly do you juice a clam? Oranges, grapes and even pomegranet I'm fine with... but clams?

Posted by: Mr Husband at February 2, 2006 5:52 AM

I bought it once- as a white elephant gift because the gift had to be under $5 and truly awful:)

Posted by: chris at February 2, 2006 9:05 AM

I'm with Elizabeth -- it might be Cap'n Jack! Open it! Open it! (Scott is still away, isn't he?)

Posted by: rams at February 2, 2006 9:37 AM

Merciful heavens, Mr. Husband. Now I'll be haunted all days by visions of Ron Popeil running clams through a juicer. THANKS.

Posted by: Aimee at February 2, 2006 10:21 AM

I have never partaken of Clamato, the only people I know who do, have to heavily water it down with alcohol. Juicing a clam, now that is funny, and I agree with Aimee it must include the Popeil Clam-o-matic.

Now on the coke issue. I have never understood the nation's (or western world's) facination with Coke and Pepsi - I'm one of those people who can't taste the difference, and thinks that it taste like battery acid. Now I am a Pepper and was heartbroken to learn there is no prune juice in Dr Pepper. I have to agree the Vanilla-Cherry combination was a let down. One or the other, both is just a menagerie.

Posted by: Cele at February 2, 2006 11:32 AM

Ummm...cola-flavor? Originally came from the kola nut, which...uh...grows. In nature. Like a natural thing. Not unlike...a lemon, for example.

Although the larger brands like Pepsi and Coke now use artificial kola nut flavoring, much like you'll find artificial vanilla and lemon flavoring in a lot of cake mixes, etc. Some smaller, gourmet brands, like Barr's Red Kola, Harboe Original Taste Cola, and Cricket Cola, still use all-natural kola nut to flavor their products.

So. Anyway.

Posted by: Selah at February 2, 2006 12:23 PM

As a southernish gal who grew up 30 miles from the birthplace of Sonic Drive-ins, I can tell you who drinks Cherry Vanilla Dr. Peppers. ALL OF OKLAHOMA. Ahem. (A side note, there are over 100 Sonics listed in the Oklahoma City phone book, and only 10 Starbucks--a slice of life from my world.)

My husband is carting two 12-packs in his trunk as we speak, two of the last 3 that the grocery store had in stock last night.

Now, in my Sonic frequenting days, I was all about the Cherry Vanilla Coke. I knew people who used to drink Diet Lime Cokes and thought it was reeeeeeally weird, up until Coke started making it 2 or so years ago.

Posted by: Sheri at February 2, 2006 12:53 PM

Clamato is very big in Canada, I had no idea that you all in the states didn't know about it until I had an American bartender friend come up and he was all FREAKED OUT ABOUT IT.

Here in Canada that's what goes into the drink we call "Caesers"... which is very much like a Bloody Mary but with Clamato not Tomato Juice.

AND, we have been know to order "Clam and a pint" which means a beer with a side of Clamato so that you can add it to your beer to your liking. It's very yummie!

Of course up here my favourite drink will always be a Tequila Paralyzer: Coke, Tequila, Khalua, Milk. When I go to the states (Midwest area) most places say "You want MILK in your drink?? Ewwww!"

Posted by: Heather Cook at February 2, 2006 1:50 PM

okay, since you're so close to Atlanta I'll cut you a break on the preference for coke in it's infinite flavors, but:

Diet Dr. Pepper rules.

Diet Coke is fine from a fountain, but nowhere else.

Coke - out of an 8 oz bottle only. frosty, on a hot summer day. (sometimes with peanuts in the bottle.)

I'm surprised that Mir (being near bAHston) expresses revulsion at clam juice - maybe she didn't spend enough time in the Kennedy compound at mAHtha's vineyard. Or maybe she only goes for clam squeezin's in her clam chowdAH. There ain't no tellen about dem yankees.

Posted by: Bob at February 2, 2006 2:32 PM

There's an aisle at our grocery store that has little directional sign that says "Baby Juice". I always tell my husband you have to squeeze 'em real hard to get the juice, but it's worth it. I suppose it's the same with juicing a clam.

Posted by: laura at February 2, 2006 2:45 PM

Clamato. Did you ever think it would be so provocative a conversation piece? I mean, really, who knew??

Posted by: Cathy Dix at February 2, 2006 3:57 PM

I kinda like clams, and I do like tomatoes but never the 'twain should meet..........blah!

Posted by: circe at February 2, 2006 5:27 PM

Tried to post this yesterday, but was rejected for "questionable content." So maybe the Kudzu gods hate Clamato too?

Oh well:

I actually really LIKE Clamato. Which I pronounce
ClamAHto, because I am ALSO weird in THAT direction.

Now if they made *Squid*mato, that would be gross... and I would be forced to eschew the beverage aisle forever.


I would add to that that juicing clams is not actually that hard. Sure, it can be upsetting at first, but they really do stop squealing pretty quickly.

Remind me to tell the joke about "what's a clam's mating call?" someday. Unfortunately, it doesn't work not-in-person, but it's funny live.

Posted by: Cornelia Read at February 2, 2006 7:12 PM

I made the mistake of peeking at the Clamato web site. Peruse this quote, IF YOU DARE!

"The brand is the undisputed market leader in the Seafood Blend category, with leading share in every region."

Yep, apparantly there is a beverage category for Seafood Blend, and I'm not the only one who has been pondering this title. Please reference the open letter at the address below:


Good night, and good grief.

Posted by: Mr. Husband at February 3, 2006 10:44 AM

I've stayed away from clamato for that very reason. Why would a person mix clam juice (ewww) with anything??? Who likes clam juice???

Posted by: Tanya at February 3, 2006 4:33 PM