Product #: 33025S
Scientific Name: Mercenaria mercenaria
Country of Origin: United States
Soft shell clams get their name from their thin and brittle shell. They are also called steamer clams, Ipswich clams, belly clams, or longneck clams. Unlike hard clams, their shell doesn't close completely, giving them a shorter shelf life. Soft shell clams are more tender than other clams and are sweet and a bit salty. They can be gritty and may need to be purged. The dark membrane should be removed from the siphon before eating.
Soft shell clams are found along the Atlantic coast of Canada and the U.S. as far south as Cape Hatteras, NC, but the primary production areas are Maine, Cape Cod and Maryland.
Most soft shell clams are wild harvested, though some are now being farmed as well. Wild populations are not assessed regularly so the stock status unknown. Management regulations include minimum size limits, area closures and gear restrictions. Soft shell clams are hand harvested with rakes or hoes on the mud flats during low tide, a much more gentle method than the hydraulic dredges used in other clam fisheries.
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