Clamayto, Clamahto

27 03 2011

Don’t say it; I know.

I’ve been abandoned this blog for over three weeks now. I’m a terrible, horrible person.

Would it help if I said this has been the craziest three weeks of my life so far? No, probably not.

Well, at any rate, partly as self-punishment for taking three weeks off and partly for the entertainment value, I confronted one of my biggest fears today: Clamato juice.

I know it’s normal to some people. I know that, but I’ll never understand it. Ketchup is fine. Tomato soup is OK. Clam chowder is delicious. But mixing clams and tomatoes is just…wrong. So wrong.

In spite of my misgivings, I drank Clamato juice today. I sacrificed myself. I put myself through hell, just for you people. I hope you’re satisfied.

There are two great mysteries surrounding the juice: Whether Clamato is pronounced Clamayto or Clamahto, and why on earth anyone enjoys drinking it.

According to ChaCha, it’s pronounced Clamayto, which is awesome because that’s how I’ve always pronounced it and all these people have told me I’m saying it wrong. So there. In your face, all those people.

As for the second mystery, that’s what I was about to find out. Maybe.

With everything I try, I always figure someone, somewhere out there likes it. It’s what keeps me going when I’m faced with things like green pepper jelly and beet cookies. And it’s what helps me sleep at night afterward, despite my indigestion-induced nightmares.

Remember how I have this weird habit of smelling food before I try it? Well, I opened the bottle of Clamato juice, stuck my nose right up to the opening, took a big whiff — and nearly passed out. Don’t try this at home. If you’re going to smell Clamato juice for whatever reason, keep your distance in the process. If you’re a kidnapper or an aspiring kidnapper, this might actually come in handy. I mean, this stuff’s way cheaper than chloroform, and it pretty much has the same effect on people.

Holding my breath (yes, really), I poured myself a glass of the bright red, foul-smelling liquid. “Are you ready for this?” I asked my family, who were all watching in anticipation. (I did say entertainment value, didn’t I?) I’m not sure they were ready, and I know I sure wasn’t, but I threw back a hearty gulp anyway.

There are no words.

Nothing in the English language exists that is horrible enough to describe the taste of Clamato juice. It was like something had died and sat marinating in it for days. A clam, probably. Or many clams.

It was like watery clam chowder without all the milky goodness that makes up clam chowder…so really, just the clamminess. That, and slightly spicy tomato soup. Oh, and maybe some vinegar thrown in for good measure.

It smelled better than it tasted, which is normally not the case with any kind of strange food I try. If something smells like dead clams in ketchup, and it smells better than it tastes, you know you’ve got a problem.

In short, it tasted the same going down as it probably would coming back up. Or will. My stomach’s not feeling so good anymore.

I have a question for all of you insane, Clamato-loving people out there: What’s wrong with you? How do you do it? How on earth does this stuff taste good to you? Or is it really more of a masochistic method of proving your invulnerability to things that taste like death? Be honest with me, because I’m genuinely curious. And I can’t decide if your enjoyment of this stuff inspires awestruck respect or utter disgust in me. Maybe a little bit of both.

I’m going to leave you all with today’s lesson in the form of a simple mathematic equation:

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go brush my teeth for the tenth time.


Ingredients: Water, tomato concentrate, high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate, salt, citric acid, onion powder, celery seed, ascorbic acid (to maintain color), garlic powder, dried clam broth, spices, vinegar, natural flavors and Red 40.
Price: $2.99 at Fry’s
Pros: It’s red. I like red. Red is one of my favorite colors.
Cons: You’re better off just eating rotting clams and washing them down with ketchup and vinegar. It probably tastes better.

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