Clams are a very common type of shellfish enjoyed by people the world over. They come in all shapes and sizes and vary slightly depending on where they live.
Enjoying clams on New England beaches during summer vacations while watching ships sail by is a one-of-a-kind experience.
This delicacy can be served in various ways, and they are really good for you too! Though they do require some work to prepare correctly, this article will show you what types of clams there are so that you can decide which one best suits your taste buds.
What Are The Popular Types Of Clams?
Clam seasonality comes with a special flavor that only these bivalves can bring. Not only that, but each type of clams also has its flavor texture, creating a unique culinary background.
Atlantic Hard-Shell Clams (Mercenaria mercenaria)
Hardshell clams are a species of mollusk found throughout North America's eastern shore.
These critters are known as littlenecks, cherrystones, or chowder, depending on their size. They all pertain to the same species at various phases of development, which might be considered delicious food when cooked!
Littlenecks, also known as tiny clamshells, have several purposes depending on their size.
According to Chef Cimarusti, larger sizes are best suited for sauces and plates of pasta, with a little lemon juice to offer that delicious crunch while eating these bivalves! Because they are so little, they are inappropriate for eating uncooked.
The humble stuffie is without a doubt the most famous New England meal. This legendary meal has been loved by people all around America and even overseas for years!
They begin with fresh clams, which must be shucked before being diced with breadcrumbs and aromatics before cooking.
If you live in the Northeast, chowder clams and quahogs are two of your favorite types of shellfish. They both have very different appearances from one another.
However, they offer similar benefits for cooking, with - chowders being smaller than cherrystones while still packing quite a punch when it comes to flavor!
Soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria)
Soft-shell clams are unlike hard shells in that they never close. A foot always sticks out of the side and shell, which may not seem like much, but it's actually sweeter with nuttier flavors than its thicker cousin!
Soft-shell crabs were formerly a delicacy reserved for the elite of coastal locations, but they are now available almost anywhere.
The practice of eating soft shells began with steaming and draining them before serving them with both broths from before they were cooked and drawn butter (which will be related to).
There are various steps to eating your dish: First, they peel off the black membrane that covers their foot and then dip into a cup of soup.
Nowadays, especially in New England, people frequently deep fry crab shacks to produce unique tastes. We are sure you will never forget this special taste after just one try.
Manila clams (Venerupis philippinarum)
The Manila clam is a hybrid of Atlantic hard-shell and soft-shell clams. Although it is native to the Pacific Ocean, it is frequently produced on West Coast farms!
The raw Manila clams have a basic and natural taste with a trace of saltiness. When craving East Coast boiling clams or steaming wild American Pacific mussels, it's difficult to top the trademark brininess (we can all agree that those are some pretty high stakes).
"It's not as lusty for me," Chef Javi Cimarusti admits.
Surf clams (Spisula solida)
Surf clams dwell in depths of up to 120 feet throughout North America's Eastern seaboard, from South Carolina to Nova Scotia. Because most people only consume cooked and processed meats, you'd be hard-pressed to find them on a menu or in your local fish store.
Many famous chefs worldwide, on the other hand, enjoy "sweet" meat since those wonderful jellyfish-like chunks may be relished raw as well!
Pacific razor clams (Siliqua patula)
The Pacific razor clam is a delicacy in Oregon and Washington.
It has an interesting sweetness that will pair well with most dishes, but it's best when used as the base for Connie & Ted's signature dish: clam cakes made from white leg clams which are sweet yet tender enough to melt into your mouth!
Atlantic Jackknife clam (Ensis leei)
The Atlantic razor clam is delicious, but it's much more difficult to find than its Pacific counterpart. It tastes delicious with some lemon juice and oil mixed together as well!
Clam cleaning is a sensitive operation. To thoroughly clean them, soak them in salted water with either cornmeal or crushed black pepper, which serves as an irritant, and pull out any sand that may be lying inside their shell. "It's a terrific thing to do with any clam”.
Pacific Geoduck (Panopea generosa)
The clear flavor of the Geoduck, a native of Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest, is highly valued. Chef Cimmarusti is so fond of them that he says, "I would choose them above any other clam." Because of its phallic-like look, this delicacy is highly sought after by chefs worldwide!
A gigantic soft-shell clam geoduck is a tasty and unique meal. It comprises two parts: the long trunk and the siphon. This section can be eaten raw in sushi or sashimi to provide a delicious seafood flavor with no textural alteration from its natural condition.
More textural differences, such as delicate strips ready to be broken down into pieces during the preparation process, can also be found in the body. It has a unique marine taste and is ideal for soups and stir-fries.
Clams are a specialty dish of the sea. It has a characteristic salty taste, chewy texture and goes well with many different dishes, originating from many major cuisines around the world.
We hope you have gained more knowledge about types of clams through this article and thank you for reading.