Sunray Venus Clam was initially presented in March 2011 at the International Boston Seafood Show, which is the largest seafood convention in the country. The responses that we received from this new product was overwhelming. This sunray clam has a beautiful starburst design on the shell, which is grey in color, and turns pink when it is cooked. The taste is sweeter and milder than a hard clam and the meat is described as more tender. In addition to the taste and presentation, the meat content is about 50% higher than the hard clam. The shell thickness is thinner than the hard clam, which allows faster cooking and higher meat content for the Sunray Venus Clam.

The Eastern oyster is known for its distinctive, salty flavor and meaty texture. Oyster meats, which are somewhat fatty, should be smooth with adequate liquor (store cup-side down to retain the liquor). Eastern oysters have a moderately deep, elongated, gray-white to gray-brown, rough, spoon-shaped shell with rose-colored streaks. Inside is a light-colored fringe (the gill) and creamy to light-brown meat. Cooked meat turns ivory.To test for live oysters, tap the shell; it should close. A sulfur odor indicates a dead oyster. The liquid in which fresh, shucked oysters are packed should be clear.

Hardshells are the connoisseur’s choice for raw clams. They are mild-flavored, sweet and briny. Cooked hardshells are soft, juicy and mild. Raw meat should be tender-crisp and plump, ranging in color from ivory to golden yellow, with some dark areas. Cooked meat is pale, pinkish-white.Hardshells have an off-white, oval, symmetrical shell with a purple or violet border inside. Discard clams with open or broken shells. Unlike softshells, hardshell clams can close their shells completely and “live on their own juices” for a time, giving them a longer shelf life out of water than softshells.

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