WATCH | Before you write this peculiar-looking clam off as a possible meal option, hear me out: Geoduck (pronounced "goo-ee-duck") is undoubtedly a delicacy. It has made an appearance on <em>Top Chef</em> and is considered a luxury in parts of Asia, popular for its shape and the fresh taste.
The geoduck is one of the world's largest clams. It can reach more than three or four feet in length and live for more than a century. Its name, of Native American origin, means "dig deep" as it dwells underneath the seabed.
A delicacy in China
Native to the Pacific Northwest, the geoduck is one of the most profitable mollusks harvested in tidelands along Washington and British Columbia.
In 2014, the United States exported $74 million worth of geoduck. The market has been growing exponentially for decades, prompted by demand in Asia. Taylor Shellfish Farms, located in Washington, is one of the biggest producers of geoducks in the country and about half of their geoducks go to China and Hong Kong.
The anatomy of the geoduck is simple: the mantle, also known as its breast, rests inside the shells, and the double-barreled siphon reaches up above the sand to suck in water, which it then spits it back out after filtering out nutrients.
While many consume it sautéed or boiled, Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bars serve it raw, sashimi style, with wasabi and soy sauce. The verdict on the taste? Crunchy, sweet with a clean finish -- somewhere between a clam and an oyster.