November 6, 2015
Hard-shell Clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) are bivalve mollusks, like Oysters and Mussels. They are found in coves, bays and estuaries along the Atlantic Coast from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. They live burrowed into mud and sandy bottoms and stick their siphon up through the mud to suck water and food particles into the buried animal. Hard-shell Clams are wild-caught and farm-raised.
Hard-shell Clams are also known as Quahogs. However, they are generally known by names based on their size: Littlenecks, Cherrystones, Topnecks and Chowders. Littlenecks are the smallest followed by Cherrystones. These are the most popular and are often served raw. Chowders are the largest and generally used for chowders, soups, stuffed clams and other similar dishes. Depending on the market, Topnecks are sized between Littlenecks and Cherrystones or between Cherrystones and Chowders.
Hard-shell Clams are wild-captured by scissor-like tongs, hand-rakes and dredges. They are also farmed-raised along the East Coast.
Hard-shell Clams have a longer shelf life than Soft-shell Clams out of water because Hard-shell Clams can completely close their shells.
Fresh – Live Hard-shell Clams which have been handled and stored properly should retain optimum quality for 14 days from date of harvest.
Hard-shell Clams are low in saturated fat and high in protein and selenium.
Per 100g raw, mixed species of clam:
Saturated Fat 0.187g