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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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hamaguri meaning ‘beach chestnut’, is the Japanese for clam, but is used in a much more limited way than the English word, being applied only to one particular bivalve, Meretrix lusoria (which has a shape like that of a chestnut), and to a close relation, M. petechialis, which is known as shinahamaguri.

Hamaguri have been prized and eaten in large quantities by the Japanese from time immemorial. In the numerous prehistoric ‘shell mounds’ discovered all over the country, hamaguri shells occur most frequently (followed by oyster shells).