I am new to this site and very excited to become a member. I found this it after much researching about pearls and things of this sort, and Dr. Shihaan Larif's name kept coming up.
In 1995, I found a pearl in a littleneck clam that I was eating in my own restuarant. The story behind the circumstances is truly the most unbelievable and curious thing. The restaurant was called "Ocean Grill". I started it on my own as a Chef in 1991. It became extremely popular for serving extremely fresh seafood at that time in the Southern California area. We served many hundreds of thousands of meals and guests piling up at the doors on weekends to come eat, but we had to eventually close for good in 1995 because of the very bad economic depression we experienced at that time due to various factors including the Gulf war. All the customers we had accumulated for 4 years and all of my employees were very sad to have to close the doors after 4 years of good times. On the night I found the pearl, it was the very LAST NIGHT OF BUSINESS. The doors had already closed and it was just myself and a few staff. I was cleaning out the very last few things left in the huge walk-in refrigerator because I didn't want to waste any food, especially fresh high quality things like clams, Mussels, shrimp, etc...
I found the last few pounds of "Littleneck" clams in the refrigerator and decided to cook them for myself, in the same way that had for thousands and thousands of customers. I sauteed them in some white wine, with lots of fresh garlic, fresh parsley, white onion, black pepper, and sweet butter. I didn't even bother to sit down, instead I stood up with my chef's coat on, right in the spot on the cooking line at the ovens where I had stood serving food to waiters for so many nights over 4 years. The clams were perfect, fresh, as we got them delivered fresh 6 days a week from a local seafood provider in Los Angeles. I felt the pearl on my tongue after putting the very LAST CLAM left in the bowl into my mouth.
It was indeed the very LAST clam in the dish, in the LAST dish that cooked at my restaurant (but for myself), on the lLAST night of business before closing forever. The chances of finding a Quaahog clam are apparently low already, but what are the chances of this? we had cooked perhaps thousands of pounds of clams in the 4 years, and nobody ever found a perl in any of them.
It is a natural pearl color, and almost perfectly round, but mabye ever so slightly oval. I have never had anyone appraise it or look at it.
I kept it all these years as a memory of my successful business. I never realized it was a "Quahog" pearl untl this year.
Thank you for reading my post and let me know your thoughts.
Best, Bill Cowan Los Angeles,