How to size up clams

May 17, 2011
Sizing up clams

According to Chad Ballard III, the fifth-generation owner of Ballard Fish and Oyster Co., no industry-wide standard for clam sizing exists; nomenclature and definitions vary widely among states, regions and companies.

Ballard’s company uses these standards:

SMALL CLAMS

-Pasta clam: 22 per pound

-Littleneck: At least 7 / 8 inch thick, measured across the hinge; 16 per pound

-Middleneck: At least 1 inch thick, measured across the hinge; 10 per pound

-Greatneck: At least 11 / 4 inches thick, measured across the hinge; 6 per pound

LARGE CLAMS

-Topneck: 4 per pound; 21 / 2 inches wide

-Cherrystone: 3 per pound; 3 inches wide

-Chowder: 2 per pound; 4 inches wide

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