Atlantic Surf Clam


The Atlantic surf clam is a type of western Atlantic surf clam, a bigger relative of the eastern Atlantic surf clam. It is a very large (up to 20 cm), edible, saltwater clam. It is a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Mactridae. It is well lliked for its sweet flavor, and the meat is used for 'clam strips', chowder, and sushi.


Other names: Hen Clam, Skimmer, Sea Clam, Bar Clam, Spisula Solidissima
Translations: Atlantijas Surf aizcirst, Atlanto Surf Clam, Đại Tây Dương Surf Nghêu, Clam Surf Atlantyku, अटलांटिक सर्फ क्लैम, Atlântico Clam Surf, Атлантический Surf Клэм, Ατλαντικού Αχιβάδα Surf, الأطلسي تصفح الكتوم, 아틀란틱 서핑 클램, Atlantik Surf Clam, Atlantic surf paros, 大西洋瑟夫克拉姆, Atlàntic marxa, Atlantik Surf Clam, אטלנטיק צדפה גלוש, Atlanten Surf Clam, Атлантиц сурф Клам, アトランティックサーフクラム, Mactre de l'Atlantique, Atlántico macha, Атлантичний Surf Клем, Atlantic Surf Simpukka, Част на Атлантическия океан Surf мида

Physical Description

Generally 4 - 8 inches in length in the shell. Shell color ranges in shades of white, gray and tan, and shells are covered in shallow ridges and do not fully close. Inside the shell, meat ranges in color from shades of tan to pink and gray. Raw meat is of a shiny, rubbery consistency.

Colors: tan, gray, pink

Tasting Notes

Flavors: sweet
Mouthfeel: Soft, Tender, Mild
Food complements: White sauces, Lemon
Wine complements: White wine, Chardonnay
Substitutes: Quahog clam

Selecting and Buying

Buying: Atlantic surf clams are widely available in their frozen and canned forms at major grocery retail stores. They are also available fresh at local fish markets in coastal areas in the United States and other countries.
Procuring: These clams are foraged by large commercial fisheries. They are found on the sandy bottoms of the ocean floor on the continental shelf. They are, for the most part, harvested in the New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland coastal regions.

Preparation and Use

Atlantic surf clams are often used in bisques, chowders, and with white sauces. They can be used to make clam juice.

The surf clam is the only type of clam used in the popular breaded clam strips.

Cleaning: The clam is first shucked, meaning the shell is removed. About two thirds of the meat is usable. Half of this meat consists of a long strip called the tongue. The tongue of the clam is removed; this is the part used to make clam strips. The remaining meat is ground, chopped, and used in other dishes like pastas and chowders.

Conserving and Storing

Atlantic surf clam can be bought frozen or canned.


The Atlantic Surf Clam is a species that is commercially exploited by humans.

History: Prior to World War II these clams were most often used as a fishing bait. After the war, they saw an increase in human consumption and are now the most widely consumed bivalve in America.



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