Quahog Clams (mercenaria mercenaria) Alternate Names
Common Hard-shell Clam, Littleneck Clam, Cherrystone Clam, Topneck Clam, Chowder Clam
Quahog Clams are more commonly known by other names based upon their size. The sizes of this clam are as follows: Littleneck Clam (1 1/2″ – 2″), Cherrystone Clam (under 3″), Topnecks (3″ – 4″), Chowder Clam (over 4″). The smaller the clam the more tender the meat.
Range & Habitat
Littleneck, Cherrystone, Topneck and Chowder Clams are an east coast clam found from Canada to Florida. There is a Pacific Littleneck Clam, but it is a different species.
Typical Wholesale Products
Clams are sold live in the shell in 5 pound increments.
Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh. Frozen available all year long.
Quahog Clam Flavor Profile
Quahog Clams have tender meats with a mildly sweet flavor and briny accent. Littleneck Clams are the smallest and most desirable of the Quahog Clams, having the most tender, sweet meats. Cherrystone Clams are the second smallest and the second most desirable. Littlenecks and Cherrystones are used in raw bars. Topneck Clams have the distinctive sweet flavor and briny accent, but are less tender and are often used for stuffed clams. And of course Chowder Clams are usually chopped and used in chowders and stews.
based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving.