Ocean Quahog

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

ocean quahog Arctica islandica, a large edible bivalve of the N. Atlantic. It does not belong to the same family as the quahog, but bears enough resemblance to it to justify the purloining of the name; and it earns the adjective ‘ocean’ by living only in relatively deep waters, from the latitude of Newfoundland down to that of N. Carolina. Until recently it was left undisturbed on both sides of the Atlantic. However, the decline in the stocks of the surf clam caused American processors to look elsewhere for clam meat, and large quantities of the ocean quahog are now being landed on the American side, mainly for use in minced-clam products and stews.