Ocean Tides – New England Shellfish

Chef – New England Shellfish Makes Midsummer Shine.   

 August Menu Plan.

Crab Rock let’s you inspire the kitchen and treat your guests to the extraordinary! Each month will supplement your monthly menu planning by featuring a seasonal direct program from a specific region of the globe. Our direct programs will bring the outstanding culinary experience of each region directly to your restaurant, menu, team, and guests.

August is here and we look to the Shellfish of New England. The bivalves and crab of the North Atlantic bring a Summer flare to your fare. This week we focus on Mussels, Clams, and Crab. Contact your sales rep today to build your ideal box.

Chapter 3: Shellfish

Atlantic Blue Mussels  (Mytilus edulis)


Atlantic Mussels are survivalists. They are some of the heartiest bivalves in nature, and cannon ball driver for any menu. Summer is a great time to bring mussels to your guests. With broad culinary abilities, the Mussel can easily find its place in a light brunch salad or a hearty dinner entree. Mussels are unique to their environment. Like Oysters they mirror the flavor complexity of the waters that they inhabit. has a unique ability to source the correct Mussel for your applications. We’ll take a look at the growing methods, locations and sizes of our premium availability.

Restaurant Ready

Location: Rhode Island

Growing System: Bottom Grown – Trays placed on the sea floor.

Sizes: Whitewater Mussels (2.5″ – 16/20 ct), Big One (3″ – 10/15 ct), Cape Cod Bay (3.5″ to 4″ – 12 ct)

This program allows a collective group of Rhode Island growers to produce their Mussels, and distribute their product with the highest quality and care. At the harvest’s beginning, the Mussels are transported from their respective locations to a state-of-the-art production facility. First the Mussels are put into a custom designed seawater system. This unique design pumps the cool, sterilized seawater of Narragansett Bay over the shellfish allowing the bivalves to filter out sand and grit in a controlled all-natural environment. The seawater system is monitored on a daily basis. Next, the mussels go through a preparation line that includes multiple wash points, intricate inspections, a debysser (to cut the “beards”) and a meticulous grading process.


Location: Rhode Island

Growing System:  Longline – Trays suspended in water from horizontal lines.

Size: Moules (1.5″ – 30/35 ct)

Located off Aquidneck Island in the East Passage of Narragansett Bay Rhode Island, Moules are the “Taste of the Ocean State”. The growing process and the unlimited food supply allows for a flavor that is wonderfully sweet with a slight hint of Narragansett Bay salinity.  The clean blue shells have waves of gold radiating throughout and boast a pristine shine. This petite Mussel is perfect for Moules-Frites, and other recipes that call for a smaller yet incredibly plump Mussel. Moules have a massive meat to shell ratio that is sure to satisfy your guests.


Location: Maine

Growing System: Pole or Post – Mounted to rope and hung from stationary posts.

Size: Bouchot (2″ to 3″)

Maine has some of the coldest waters in the USA. The powerful tidal change of the Gulf of Maine bring the vast sea to the Mussels. Bouchot growing styles produce a near perfect shell with abundant meat. The surge of nutrients to their fixed position brings a wealth of vegetal nourishment to the Mussels. The strong current also disallows predators the ease of damaging the stock. Cold, crisp Maine waters also provide richness in the “fat” of the Mussels. It provides protection from extreme temperatures for the Mussel and a creamy finish to the diner.


Clam, Hard Shell

Clams are as popular as they have ever been among  restaurant  guests. The production of Clams has risen significantly over the past 3 decades and they have become  wildly  popular with a new generation of seafood diners. Their traditional preparations have led to innovative recipes and techniques from the most celebrated chefs in the world. has a long reach in procuring Clams. The immediate shipping of our clams ensure the longest shelf life possible. Let’s look at a few New England Direct offerings.

Quahog Clam ( Mercenaria mercenaria )

The hard-shell clams found on the East Coast (where they’re also called by the Indian name quahog) come in specific sizes.

Littleneck Clams – aka “Nex”

Size: 2″ Shell – 9/ 12 ct

Middleneck Clams – aka “Middles”

Size: 2.5″ Shell – 7/9 ct

Topneck Clams – aka “Tops”

Size: 3″ Shell – 4/6 ct

Cherrystone Clams – aka “Cherries”

Size: 3.5″ Shell 3/4 ct

Chowder Clams – aka “Chowders”

Size: 4′ to 5′ Shell – 1/2 ct

Razor Clam (Ensis arcuatus, Ensis directus)

Razor Clams are hand dug during specific tidal conditions. Harvested during a “Super” Moon and very low tides. This allows short exciting bursts of availability. Long Slender “Straight Razor” shaped with beautiful greens, browns, and cream colors throughout the shell. The fringe of the meat has a purple hue and the foot is an attractive cream color. The Razor Clam is perfect from Sashimi to Saute.

Cockles (Austrovenus stutchburyi)

Boston Harbor is a magnificent hub for Cockles. The shell is solid and rotund, sculptured with numerous strong rounded radial ribs. The meats are large and succulent, with a fresh briny flavor that works with dishes from the Mediterranean to the Orient. Prepare as you would domestic Littleneck clams, purging in salt water and cooking just until they open.

New England Crab 

Crab, Jonah Claws

New England Crab are relatively “new” to a centuries old culinary history. Typically crab were caught as bycatch in the New England Lobster industry. The invasions of Rock Crab, aka “Peekytoe”, and Jonah Crab onto the Lobster Pots was a nuisance to the Lobstermen. Stealing bait  and filling up the traps before the Lobsters had time to enter proved to be a challenge. The fates of both Crab were realized when brilliant marketing and innovative usage re-branded these species as viable and delicious seafood offerings. From Daniel to The French Laundry, this once “trash” is now “treasure”.

Rock Crab “Peekytoe” (Cancer irroratus)

The market name was taken from local slang. Peekytoe! The Peekytoe is primarily “All Leg Meat”. The legs of the Rock Crab have a wonderful complex flavor that can be utilized in endless applications. Fully steamed Peekytoe meat is sweet and firm with a subtle finish. Peekytoe is a perfect “ready to use” product for countless recipes. Our Peekytoe availability is a Trap-To-Table distribution that guarantees the freshest crab.

Jonah Crab (Cancer borealis)

Beginning in the 1970’s, Jonah Crab have found a steady rise in Culinary need. The Jonahs are pot trap caught in the Gulf of Maine and are predominant in the Western Atlantic and almost specific to the United States. Similar to Pacific Dungeness, the Jonah Claw has found roots in some of the highest quality Seafood Restaurants in New England. Jonah Crab are steamed upon catch and broken down into several portioned options. We carry various Jonah Crab products and offer them daily. The meat is a sweet and complex crab flavor that offers a multitude of cooking applications. From Raw Bar to hearty Bisques, the Jonah fits any need. Call to find your specific Jonah Crab product.

Build A Box:

Available to include in your Shipment!

Contact to Build your optimal Box.

Josh Adams : 704-769-2260

Josh Bogen: 704-769-2261

Mike Casagrande: 704-769-2263

Clint Dowell: 704-769-2258

Karen Harmon:  704-769-2262

Patrick Lowder: 704-769-2265

Chris Nelson: 704-769-2256

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