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Among the most popular varieties, cherrystone clams are the largest, littleneck clams are the tenderest and the mahogony clams that are the most expensive and very sought-after.


Clams are filter-feeding bivalve molluscs (consisting of two shells). The word "clam" is actually a generic term used for a large family of bivalve molluscs, all of which have a similar taste.


Most have hard shells, grow in tidal flats or in sandy shallow water and are harvested by digging at low tide. The clam has a well-developed foot that is shaped like an axe which it uses to bury itself in the sand or mud.


There are also aquaculture farms in many countries that grow clams. In Japan, they grow the Manilla clam on a very large scale; these clams are frozen whole and exported all over the world.


The American clam that we are most familiar with is the quahog or littleneck clam which is found mainly in East Atlantic waters from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Culinary tips and advice

You will find fresh clams in your METRO fishmonger's display.

  • Small clams can be eaten raw or cooked.
  • They are delicious plain or with a drop of lemon.
  • Since they are less tender, larger molluscs are best chopped and used in sauces or chowders.
  • This is how the ever popular New England clam chowder and the famous Italian pasta vongole are prepared.


Nutritional value

Low in fat and high in protein, the clam is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, C and A as well as in minerals, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, selenium, calcium, phosphorus, sodium and potassium.


Storage life

Fresh clams should be prepared as soon as possible after purchase.

 Refrigerator 4° C (40° F)Freezer -18° C (-4° F)
Fresh clam (in the shell)2 to 3days---
Frozen clam frozen (shelled)1 to 2 days1 month