Surf Clam

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

surf clam Spisula solida, an edible species of great commercial importance in the USA, where it accounts for almost three-quarters of the clam harvest. It is a large clam, measuring up to 16 cm (6") across. It may also be called bar/hen/sea clam. It takes the names surf and bar clam from the circumstance that early settlers found it in the surf or on bars; but its habitat is in deeper waters, whence the apter name sea clam. It is especially abundant off the coast of New Jersey. South of Cape Hatteras, it is replaced by the smaller S. raveneli; and in Canadian waters by S. polynyma, which has a purplish foot which turns red in cooking and is accounted superior.