Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

verni the French name (in the absence of an English one) of Callista chione, a relatively large clam—up to 9–12 cm (4–5") across. Because of its size, the French sometimes call it grosse or grande palourde (see carpet-shell), although verni, referring to the varnished appearance which the reddish or pinkish brown shell presents, is the official name.

The verni has a range from the Mediterranean to the south of Britain. It is often eaten raw in the Mediterranean region. Lovell (1884) remarked that this species was not common in England but that Cornish fishermen sometimes took it, and knew it as ‘cock’ or ‘cram’.