Don’t Judge a Clam by Its Cover: Geoducks

Our VideosBy Liza de Guia on Jul 7, 2010
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“It’s the prime rib of clam…”

Geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck). Why aren’t more Americans eating geoduck? They are native shellfish to the Pacific Northwest and grown by the millions of pounds in the same waters as oysters. So, why are they so difficult to find in most seafood markets? And why haven’t most of my friends tried it? Is it because they look strange and prehistoric? Or just intimidatingly over-sized? Maybe Asians know something we don’t. And maybe that’s why Taylor Shellfish‘s sustainably farmed and harvested geoduck crop goes 50% to overseas Asian markets and 50% to domestic Asian markets… Hmmm?

Well, after trying it for the first time, I can honestly say as a seafood lover I felt like I had been missing out my whole life. I tried geoduck sashimi, geoduck fritters, geoduck in chowder and geoduck ceviche in many different styles during my recent seafood adventures in Washington State. And with the image of the beast in mind, yes, my first bite was met with hesitation. But the mild flavors and exciting seafood textures they delivered made the geoduck’s ugliness a lot less intimidating. So, if you ever get the chance to taste it, please don’t pass up the opportunity. I think you’ll be surprised how much you’ll enjoy it.

Now before you buy, keep in mind there’s a pretty price to pay for a geoduck. I’ve seen them retail anywhere from $20-$25 per pound (which could be part of the Asian allure). But once you see the back-breaking work involved in the harvest, the price makes a lot more sense. So enjoy this short piece I put together about Taylor Shellfish‘s geoduck farm on Stretch Island in Puget Sound. They are the largest growers in the Northwest, farming the native clams from Southeast Alaska to Washington State.

In NYC, you can buy live geoduck from Taylor Shellfish Farms at W&T Seafood or wander the many wet markets in NYC’s Chinatown or Flushing, Queens for a better chance at finding them.

Happy eating! Thanks again for watching food. curated.

**And many thanks to the Taylor Shellfish family for helping make this trip possible**

Comments

  1. oh my gosh the geoduck guts just fell off!

    • Liza de Guia says:

      I KNOW Amy! When he just opened it up and clipped the guts off like that in front of me I was like “OH MY”. And then one of his friends behind me was like “nice, Dr. Kevorkian”. I had to laugh.

  2. oh my gosh the geoduck guts just fell off!

    • Liza de Guia says:

      I KNOW Amy! When he just opened it up and clipped the guts off like that in front of me I was like “OH MY”. And then one of his friends behind me was like “nice, Dr. Kevorkian”. I had to laugh.

  3. I just died. This is insane. Look at that thing spew water!!

  4. I just died. This is insane. Look at that thing spew water!!

  5. Nellie says:

    Geoducks are the most amazing animals. Even after all this time, I’m still fascinated by them! Plus, they taste absolutely amazing!

  6. Nellie says:

    Geoducks are the most amazing animals. Even after all this time, I’m still fascinated by them! Plus, they taste absolutely amazing!

  7. Janice says:

    $20+ per pound? Wow, have I been out of touch. I left the Bay Area a decade ago when the geoducks could be found in the live fish tanks of Chinese restaurants for the same price as everyday rock cod.
    Same thing happens every time the food world makes a “discovery.”
    Stay away from my lamb necks- still a delicious and cheap secret.

    • Liza de Guia says:

      I’ll stay away from your lamb necks! ha ha. But Janice I really think that the international Asian markets drove up the price. Weird things are always a delicacy abroad, no?

  8. Janice says:

    $20+ per pound? Wow, have I been out of touch. I left the Bay Area a decade ago when the geoducks could be found in the live fish tanks of Chinese restaurants for the same price as everyday rock cod.
    Same thing happens every time the food world makes a “discovery.”
    Stay away from my lamb necks- still a delicious and cheap secret.

    • Liza de Guia says:

      I’ll stay away from your lamb necks! ha ha. But Janice I really think that the international Asian markets drove up the price. Weird things are always a delicacy abroad, no?

  9. Andrew says:

    I STILL have yet to try one of these. I’m going to be near Flushing on Monday, so maybe then.

    Really interesting to see them harvested. Are you planning on shooting them being prepared in the kitchen?

  10. Andrew says:

    I STILL have yet to try one of these. I’m going to be near Flushing on Monday, so maybe then.

    Really interesting to see them harvested. Are you planning on shooting them being prepared in the kitchen?

  11. Jennie says:

    Back during my days at Alain Ducasse, he used to have geoduck on his truffle tasting menu. Divine.

    • Liza de Guia says:

      That sounds so elegant! Geoduck and truffles. Let me know if you ever want to cook any recipes. I can help source you some :)

    • swamy iyer says:

      That sounds so elegant! Geoduck and truffles. Let me know if you ever want to cook any recipes

  12. Jennie says:

    Back during my days at Alain Ducasse, he used to have geoduck on his truffle tasting menu. Divine.

    • Liza de Guia says:

      That sounds so elegant! Geoduck and truffles. Let me know if you ever want to cook any recipes. I can help source you some :)

    • swamy iyer says:

      That sounds so elegant! Geoduck and truffles. Let me know if you ever want to cook any recipes

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  14. Hedy Liske says:

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  15. I definitely enjoy every little bit of it and I have bookmarked your blog.

  16. Lydia says:

    Try geoduck that has been harvested in the wild by divers…

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