Venus Shell

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

venus shell or venus clam, the common name (albeit more common in conchological manuals than in market places) for a number of edible bivalves in the family Veneridae. The wider name cockle, although properly reserved for members of the family Cardiidae, is often applied to them (as indicated below), and it certainly falls more easily from the lips of fishmongers; but the two families are distinct. The venus shells which are eaten include a famous one, the quahog, and the moderately well-known verni, which have their own entries. Many of the species are in the genus Chione.