In a world where food has now become globalized and everyone can find out exactly how other cultures are with a click of a button, you wouldn’t think there would be foods that surprise people.
That, my friend, is where you would be wrong, as there are literally hundreds of different foods that are not only still localized to their own cultures, but still shock and wow new eaters every day.
From balut in the Philippines to westerners or rabbits in Europe to those living in East Asia, sometimes it is hard to understand the appeal of food without trying.
But there are foods in America itself that people are confused about, with one of the most prominent being Geoduck.
But what really is Geoduck? And what exactly does it taste like? In this article, we seek to find this out.
What Is Geoduck?
First, let’s talk about what Geoduck actually is and why people are talking about it so much.
The Pacific Geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck, not geo-duck) is the name for a species of huge clam that is native to specific areas of the west coast of North America.
These areas include British Columbia, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington state, as they have a colder, wetter temperate climate than other areas much like the United Kingdom, which is a climate the clams thrive in.
These clams come from the Panopea clam family, which only has 10 members, of which the most famous is the Pacific Geoduck.
The reason for its fame is its size and shape.
The Pacific Geoduck is the largest burrowing clam in the world, with the shell of the Geoduck being between 6 and 8 inches in length and the siphon of the Geoduck being over a meter in length most of the time – giving the title of longest siphon as well.
The siphon is basically a long tube that most mollusks have to perform various tasks – being their only limb so to speak.
These include locomotion, respiration, feeding on various sources, and reproduction.
With a siphon much larger than their bodies, Geoducks are striking in appearance and surprise many people when they are pulled from their sandy burrows.
Apart from their body shape, they are also known for their longevity.
Geoducks have one of the longest average natural lifespans of any animal, with the average age of a Geoduck being 140 years and the longest specimen that we have found being 179 years.
The industry surrounding the use of Geoduck in food started in the 1970s, but it boomed in the late 2000s as people rediscovered this long forgotten clam and fell in love with the flavor and texture.
The total Geoduck industry is now worth $80 million, with many of the clams themselves going $33 per kilogram in past years.
What Does Geoduck Taste Like?
The reason for the price of Geoduck is not just to do with the harvesting method and the limited area they live, it also has to do with the taste, otherwise no one would buy them.
The closest approximation we could make is to an oyster, but that still does not do it justice.
It is often described as tasting like some that has freshly come out of the sea’s waters, being incredibly fresh and refreshing.
However, surprisingly it does not have the overwhelming taste of the sea, like a lot of fish and seafood does. Instead, it has a surprisingly sweet and clear flavor.
The texture is also slightly different from a lot of seafood.
Most clams and mollusks will either be juicy and slippery or juicy and slightly chewy, which is not the same for Geoduck.
While it is juicy, it is also quite chewy, giving you a lot of bite when you eat it.
While this may not seem like a dramatic thing, it actually works well in culinary terms, as the flesh is firmer, and it remains that way no matter how thin you cut it.
As such, you can cook it in a lot more ways than other foods without worrying about breaking the flesh or destroying the flavor.
With this in mind, Geoduck has become sought after by chefs and culinary experts to test what they can do with it.
It works well sliced raw on its own, raw on top of rice, seared with a sauce, or cut up into a dish.
There are so many ways to cook it and the flavor works so well with many different ingredients that it has become a novelty and a way to experiment within the community.
Nutritional Benefits Of Geoduck
Being a clam and a seafood, Geoduck has a lot of nutritional benefits that you may not have considered before.
For starters, being a seafood means that it is high in protein, but low in fats and calories.
This makes it a perfect food to substitute out red meat for, as you can still get your protein intake really easily and from a much smaller portion of Geoduck than meat as well, without adding too much fat or calories to your diet.
Then there are the B vitamins. Geoduck is an excellent source of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12.
Generally, this is true of most clams, but Geoduck takes it to a new level with the amount of B12 in a portion of Geoduck being much more than your daily requirement.
B12 is the vitamin that is responsible for maintaining your nerve cells and a healthy blood system.
Without it, you can be prone to tiredness, confusion, and forgetfulness, making it crucial to your continued bodily health.
This makes it perfect for those with B12 deficiencies or just people in general.
Geoduck is also full of essential amino acids, something that the body desperately needs a constant supply of.
These acids help to break down foods in our gut, but they also help to repair damaged cells and tissues throughout the body.
This strengthens our bodies natural functions and helps our bodies to recover.
Finally, Geoduck is full of omega-3 fatty acids. Many people know about these, but they are fatty acids that can really help our bodies in general.
They are considered as essential as amino acids as they promote overall heart health by helping the formation of cell membranes and help to maintain the body’s immune, cardiovascular, endocrine, and pulmonary systems.
With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that people are enjoying eating Geoduck more and more.
What Texture Does It Have?
Geoduck is a clam that grows to the size of a football. The clam is known for its large size, salty flavor, and chalky texture.
These geoducks are crunchy but delicate, distinguishing them from other sea creatures. They come large; some people like them, and some do not.
Where Does Geoduck Come From?
Geoduck is a type of clam that is harvested in the Northwest United States.
The name combines “geo,” meaning earth, and “duck,” meaning soft-shelled. The Geoduck is one of the enormous clams in the world.
The Geoduck has a long neck and is about the size of a medium-sized clam. Geoduck meat is a prized ingredient in both Chinese and Japanese cuisines.
They are used in soups and salad and is a common ingredient in sashimi.
Is Geoduck Healthy? – Are They Poisonous?
Geoducks are one of the enormous clams in the world.
Geoducks are low in fat and cholesterol but contain high amounts of iodine. Geoducks are a delicacy in many countries and are often consumed raw.
Although Geoduck is primarily consumed and considered healthy, every food comes with its risks, and so does Geoduck.
Yes, Geoducks have a higher level of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), especially in the ducks found in Southeast Alaska.
How Can I Store Geoduck?
Like any other sea creature, you may keep the Geoducks in the refrigerator, and they will be good to eat for at least 3 – 4 days.
Since, Geoducks come from shellfish that can’t close their shells entirely, eating Geoducks within a specific period is mandatory.
After cleaning, Geoducks thoroughly wrap them in a damp cloth properly. Then, please place it in the coldest part of your refrigerator to last longer.
How To Tell If Geoduck Has Gone Bad?
Although Geoduck can last up to several days in the refrigerator, sometimes, if you get unlucky, it may go bad before that.
To determine whether your Geoduck is good to have or not, there are two things you should notice.
When geoducks go bad, their flesh will become soft and slimy, their shells will turn brown, and the flesh will smell like ammonia.
Do Geoducks Have Worms?
Like any other sea creature, Geoducks contain a protozoan parasite in them.
These protozoan parasites are related to mortality among cultured larval geoduck clams found during the early development of geoduck clam hatcheries in Washington State.
British Columbian geoduck clams have not been found to carry any infectious diseases.
What Is The Best Way To Cook?
Apart from the strange look, Geoducks contain a delicious taste and crispy texture.
There are various cooking methods; however, the best way to cook Geoducks is by steaming them in their juice.
However, you may also try cooking it in various methods such as blanching, cooing in chowder, or stir-frying.
How Do You Clean Geoduck For Eating?
Cleaning becomes an essential part when you are planning to cook sea creatures for any meal since, in water, they consume many nutrients that are good for them but could be harmful to humans.
These creatures also contain dust and parasites, which makes it necessary to clean them properly.
These are some of the simple steps you can follow in cleaning Geoduck:
- Bring water to a boil and drop Geoduck in it for at least 1 minute. It will help the shell to loosen up.
- Once the cover opens, you may take out the body from it.
- Now peel the thin layer of skin from the Geoducks that helps in protecting them.
- Once this skin is off, you can see how long the Geoduck can stretch itself.
Geoduck Vs Razor Clam
In contrast to a razor clam, a geoduck is found in freshwater, whereas a razor clam lives in the ocean. Geoducks are also known as the Pacific giant clam.
The razor clam and Geoduck is that Geoduck is a type of clam and the razor clam is a type of sea snail. Geoduck is an endangered species, while razor clam is not.
Razor clams are small, with a curved shell and a hard, sharp edge. Geoducks are the enormous clams in the world and have a large, spade-shaped cover. Geoducks are also much sweeter than other clams and can be eaten raw or cooked.
How To Prepare Geoduck
Before you do anything cooking wise with your Geoduck, you need to prepare it for cooking.
This may seem strange, but you get the animal whole – as seafood goes bad quickly – unlike red meats, which are fileted and cut into pieces for you.
First, you need to purge the Geoduck.
These are creatures that live in the sand of a beach, and so their siphon and body will have a fair amount of sand inside.
Normally, the animal will get rid of these sands themselves, but they need help doing that.
Place your Geoduck in salt water for an hour and let them purge all the sand out of their system, which they should do without help.
Once you have done this, you can go about preparing the meat for cooking in one of two ways.
The first is to blanch the whole clam for 45 to 60 seconds in boiling water.
This makes the shell pop open, and you can easily cut out the clam’s meat and remove the siphon sheath without too much trouble.
The problem with this method is that a lot of the juices and some of the flavor is lost, especially if you want it raw.
The other method is to either blanch for 15 seconds and then immediately place the Geoduck into an ice bath.
This method is a bit finicky, but it makes the clam taste better, and you lose less juices, although it can be more difficult to cut.
Once this is down, you cut the muscles connecting the body to the shell and remove it from the shell.
Then you peel the sheath off the siphon and throw it away.
Finally, there is a round area that hangs a little loose from the clam. This is the stomach and digestive system which you do not want to eat.
Cut the tissue connecting it to the body without cutting into these organs themselves, before throwing them away.
After that, you can cut up the remaining Geoduck and cook it how you like.
Geoduck Nutrition Value
|Total Fat||2.0 g|
Quick Table: Delicious Geoduck Recipes
|Recipe||Calories Per Serving||Preparation Time|
|Geoduck Fritters||190.5 Per Serving||30 Minutes|
|Geoduck Chowder||320 Per Serving||35 Minutes|
|Avocado And Geoduck Salad With Fruit Salsa||NA||3-4 Hours|
Geoduck fritters are perfect if you want to make an addition to your appetizers or starters plate or serve it as a snack in your next family get-together.
These cakes are light and come with the flavors of the clams. The clam has a sweet and delicate meat that is both moist and firm.
These cakes are perfect to accompany dipping sauce or homemade tartar sauce.
These flavorful Pacific Northwest delicacies will satisfy your cravings in just 3 minutes.
Calories: 190.5 Per Serving
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
A clear, creamy broth made from salted geoduck clams is a must-have for seafood lovers. It is both rich and flavorful, with a mild hint of sweetness and a hint of saltiness.
There are a lot of dishes that pair with geoduck chowder. However, a good start is to go with good sourdough bread. A good sourdough bread can complement the soup with a bit of a sour taste.
In just half an hour, the geoduck chowder will be ready to make your meal perfect.
Calories: 320 Per Serving
Preparation Time: 35 Minutes
There will be hardly anyone who loves variations and doesn’t love to experiment with their typical food. If you are also one of them, you will love the unique and flavorful avocado, geoduck salad, and fruit salsa.
With the combination of your favorite fruits, such as mango and peach, along with avocado, these salads will bring out a delightful flavor.
The best thing about salad is that it doesn’t require much preparation. Refrigerate the mixture for a few hours after mixing all the ingredients except the avocado. When your salad is ready, serve it with avocado.
Preparation Time: 3-4 Hours
Geoduck has a fresh, clear, and sweet taste without the overbearing taste of the ocean, making it a delicacy amongst seafood and something you should definitely try.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Eat A Geoduck Raw?
There are various cooking options for eating Geoduck; however, there are still people who love to have them raw. One can experience the natural taste of Geoduck raw, and as long as you clean and blanch them properly, they are safe to eat.
What Part Of Geoduck Do You Eat?
Many people love to experience the delicacy of Geoduck. However, there are still some the parts, such as the neck, breast, and meaty portion of the shell.
Is A Geoduck Good To Eat?
Geoduck has many nutrient elements that make it healthy for you to consume. For example, it has omega three fatty acids, which help promote a healthy heart. Geoduck also helps you with a better immune system, healthy membrane formation, pulmonary, etc.