A Guide to Clam Types in The U.S.

With fragile razor clams making their way to the local seafood restaurants, it is evident why many people have become addicted to the consumption of these delicacies throughout the country. The native bivalve species became depleted in the market due to the increase in its demand, especially in New York, but now all thanks to the local fish-farmers, this species has been revived so that the people can once again enjoy the original taste. During those times of depletion, local oyster beds throughout the country were left abandoned due to the excessive demand of this delicacy. Due to the efforts of the local conversation teams, various species have been reintroduced into their real habitat so that they can meet the demand of the local market and contribute to the ecosystem in a positive manner. The culinary versatility that seashells and mussels bring to us is something that cannot be replaced with anything on the menu.

Michael Cimarusti, who is a seafood enthusiast chef, tells about major species that grow in the United States. As long as you abide to the local regulations regarding the breading and capture of clams, you are good to go. Clams don’t take a lot of time to be prepared, because it only takes a few minutes to boil an entire platter of seashells. Unlike other delicacies, there are no fancy condiments required when you want to serve clams at a party or outdoor cookout. As long as you have melted butter and basic spices, you can have a great time enjoying the taste of seashells. You would have two options when it comes to selecting this delicacy – soft-shell and hard-shell, each type has a unique taste and texture. Soft shells don’t exactly get their name from their texture because they are quite tough in their form but they have a fragile outer layer. Due to this thin layer around these seashells, they get their name as soft-shells. These shells have protruded growth that keeps both their lips slightly apart, so that the passage of ocean water can keep on flowing without any barrier. If you notice that a clam is shut closed entirely, then it might be a clear indicator that it is dead. Because of the delicate nature of these shells it is highly recommended to the buyers to cook them within a 24-hour period so that it doesn’t become rotten or foul in taste. On the other hand, you can find hard-shell clams along the Atlantic coast where they grow in abundance and farmers can find various species. Farmers grow this species in various farming regions in North America, and each type has unique harvesting period. The locals give them different nicknames according to their age and texture. Older shells are thought to be more chewable and they are matured for customers who have a preference for chewable seafood delight. Littlenecks usually complement pasta and spaghetti well, and because of the fact they are not so fulfilling, they go well with other main courses in meal. Manila clams are also perfect complementary food items in soup, and they can also be placed in different main course meals. Mainly grown in British Columbia and Washington State, these seashells are now artificially grown in other regions where they are not natively grown. They are considered the sweetest type of clams which can add unique flavor to the entire dish. They are also great options for people who want to enjoy seafood items without breaking the bank. If you are throwing a cookout party, you can buy Manila clams for an affordable option.