It's easy to recognise good quality clams as they smell fresh, like the ocean. Most clams sold commercially have been cleaned, but check to ensure all the sand and grit has been removed.
Clams keep in the fridge for about a week in a bowl covered with a damp towel, but should be cooked as close to buying as possible.
To freeze, remove clam meat from the shells and wrap in freezer paper or plastic, then wrap again in a plastic bag. Will keep this way for two months.
Tips & Tricks:
Before cooking, scrub clams under running water with a stiff brush.
To shuck clams, place in the freezer first for five minutes to loosen their hold. Hold the clam in your hand with the shell hinge aimed toward your palm. Insert a thin, dull knife (a sharp knife could cause serious harm) between the shell's edges. Work the knife slowly around so the hinge can be cut open, then pry open the shell and slide the knife between the clam and the top shell. Detach the clam by sliding the knife between it and the bottom shell.
Clams can be steamed, pan fried or grilled.