Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over high heat to 360 degrees F.
In a shallow bowl, combine the cornmeal and Essence. Add the clams and toss to coat evenly, shaking to remove any excess.
In batches without crowding, deep-fry the clams, turning frequently, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
Serve hot with lemon wedges and Gaahlicky Blue Cheese Dip.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings