Chef – New England Shellfish Makes Midsummer Shine.
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 of New England’s premium Shellfish.
Atlantic Blue Mussels
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. SeafoodS.com 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.
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.
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 bring a wealth of vegel 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.
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
Rock Crab Peekytoe” (Cancer irroratus)
Jonah Crab (Cancer borealis)
Contact SeafoodS.com for your New England Shellfish Options