Five of the best clams from Borough’s fishmongers
These pretty, marble-shelled clams at Furness Fish and Game come to the Market fresh from Cornwall. They’re the perfect all-rounder, being medium in size and somewhere between meaty cherrystones and sweet littlenecks in flavour. Given their propensity for quick-cooking, they’re great for spaghetti vongole, cooked simply with, garlic, white wine, black pepper and a glug of good olive oil.
These smooth shelled, polished-looking bivalves (‘vernis’ being French for ‘varnish’) are among the largest clams available at the Market. At Furness Fish and Game, they are sourced from the south of France, and they’re said to be a favourite among customers. On the pricier side, but well worth it for their superlative taste and texture. Four between two people should be plenty.
Cherrystone clams—named after the Virginian town where they were first found—are often the stars of east coast America’s most famous dish, clam chowder. At Richard Haward’s they hail from Essex, and are available to take away or simply slurp raw on the spot, dressed with naught but a squeeze of fresh lemon—the best way to appreciate their texture and sweet-salty, caramel-like flavour.
The long, tubular, inky-black clams at Furness Fish and Game—known in Scotland as ‘spoots’ due to their spout-like appearance—are as fresh as you can get, short of plucking them from the Shetland shore yourself. And while terrifying in both name and appearance, they’re delicious and incredibly simple to cook. Try steaming them whole and serving with saffron mayo and crusty bread.
Part of the hard shell family along with cherrystones and teeny-tiny littleneck clams, these bivalve molluscs are mildly sweet in flavour. Hand-picked by the fishermen at Poole Harbour in Dorset and brought to Shellseekers Fish and Game, strict regulations in terms of minimum size and acceptable fishing methods make these tasty shellfish a good sustainable option.