The geoduck clam have been making their claim to fame in the United States recently––and they physically originate from the Northeast where they are caught and harvested, so why are restaurants and chefs all of a sudden now on a geoduck frenzy? These crazy clams are gaining in popularity, and it isn’t just Asia buying into them. Geoduck recipes are popping up on food connoisseurs’ blogs, on restaurant menus, and they are becoming more well-known to the general population through social media and other outlets.
The geoduck craze isn’t new in certain parts of the world, but it is becoming more widely known in the United States––where weird-looking food typically isn’t our thing.
But it can be!
If you can find a restaurant that sells geoduck, you might pay a pretty price to see that clam delightfully presented on your plate. There are various reasons for the high price of a geoduck clam––it really depends on how it was sourced, where you buy it from, and what the geoduck market is like at that particular time.
Keep reading to find out why geoduck clams are so popular and what prices you will typically see when buying one or more. If you want to know what is a geoduck read this article.
Why is Geoduck so Popular in Asian Countries?
There are definitely a few Asian countries that have a craving for odd (or what the average Westerner may consider to be odd) cuisine. There is bird’s nest soup, tuna eyeballs, scorpions, testicles, and much more! They have strong stomachs over there, for sure. When they found out about the interesting-looking, atypical creature called the geoduck, they were all over it.
Geoduck originates from Puget Sound, which is located in the Pacific Northwest. This area is where the largest geoducks thrive, although other species of the creature are known to live around Argentina, New Zealand, and Japan. In Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington, the geoduck is a huge part of the commercial fishing industry, where there are hundreds of millions inhabiting these areas (Smithsonian).
The world’s first geoduck fishery popped up in the 1970s; not everyone was on board with it.
However, once word got around, the Chinese began importing geoduck and became obsessed with it.
Why do the Chinese love geoduck so much?
From an article in BBC News, Bill Dewey, whose firm Taylor Shellfish has been farming oysters since 1890, says "Part of it is the phallic appearance - it's a sexual-looking beast and there's a draw to that," says Dewey. "But it's also quite a status symbol to be served geoduck."
The trading of geoduck is a 50 million dollar industry, at least, with the majority of orders going to Asia. While the coronavirus hit the seafood industry fairly hard, and China and Japan are major areas of import for geoduck, there is hope that the market will bounce back to normal.
In British Columbia—
More than 90 percent of geoducks harvested in B.C. are exported and sold to Chinese markets where the demand is huge, apparently due to its aphrodisiac properties.
Obviously, there is a strong demand for geoduck in China and Japan, and it is becoming more popular in the United States.
What is the typical cost for a geoduck at a restaurant and if one decides to order online?
So How Much Is Geoduck?
At high-end seafood restaurants in China, some individuals are willing to pay up to $300 for a geoduck that has been imported from America or Canada.
In America, you’ll end up paying anywhere from $15 to $30 per pound, depending upon the market, as it is considered a delicacy and a specialty item.
Various factors can affect the market price of geoducks, such as the pandemic, tariffs, trade wars, quality, and economy.
The good thing for foodies in the United States, they don’t have to worry about importation and tariffs. They can buy locally or have geoducks shipped directly to their home if they can’t find it at a restaurant––or if they just want to try their hand at a geoduck feast at home.
If you’re interested in how to clean and cook geoduck in the warm and cozy environment of your own home, check out the blog and video that Fathom Seafood coordinated with acclaimed chef Andrew Zimmern. You can learn a lot from this guy!
And afterward, you might just decide that purchasing and cooking with geoduck is going to satisfy one of your 2021 New Year’s goals, which you better get on top of since the year is almost over. Be adventurous and try it! Fathom Seafood has an excellent selection of geoduck clam starting at only $45. There are three different types of boxes you can choose from and your shipment will make it to your doorstep within 24 hours of ordering.
Geoducks may look a little strange––but they taste amazing!
We’ll leave you with some interesting geoduck fun facts you can throw at your friends and family as you dine over your delectable geoduck meal.
- The oldest live geoduck on record was 168 years.
- Geoduck’s value is so high, there is proof of gangsters trading them for narcotics.
- During the first year of life, the clams are smaller than a dime.
- The Chinese call the geoduck the "elephant trunk clam".
- SCUBA divers utilize high-pressure water to "dig" out the geoduck.