A Guide To Understanding Oysters, Clams, And Mussels

Bivalve shellfish, such as oysters, clams, and mussels, are some of the world’s most popular seafood options and are harvested at a faster rate compared to crustaceans. While these filter feeders taste very much like the water bodies they live in, they have managed to make their way into a variety of all-time favourite dishes like Spanish paella, vongole pasta, Japanese steamed clams, and more. 

While many seafood lovers know the different taste profiles between oysters, mussels, and clams, they are still unsure of the other contrasts that set these molluscs apart. Hence, in this blog post, we’ll explore some common molluscs you can enjoy the next time you head to your local seafood market or purchase your clams online! 

What Are Clams

Clams are usually found in freshwater and sometimes eaten raw; most of the time, they are the best candidates for grilling, frying, or steaming. Clams are a good choice if you intend to take steps toward the mollusc family. For instance, we think creamy clam chowder is a solid pick when you are still getting used to the taste of shellfish. 

While there are over 100 edible types of clams, only a handful of them are available commercially. Some popular clam varieties include:

White Clams

Easy to distinguish amongst other clams, white clams, as is their name, have a distinctive white shell. White clams can grow up to 4cm. White clams are very popular due to their fine texture and flavourful meat. They are easily one of the most consumed molluscs within the food industry since white clams are accessible and easy to harvest.  


Pronounced “goo-ey ducks”, these types of clams are very popular in the Northwest Pacific, as well as Asia. They have a chewy, almost crunchy texture with a delicious briny flavour. The two most common geoduck clams available for consumption are the Pacific geoducks and the Atlantic geoducks.  

With shells measuring between seven and nine inches in length and siphons growing up to four feet long, geoducks are one of the largest burrowing clams. 

Razor Clams

Razor clams have brittle shells that gape open – Pacific razor clams have oval-shaped shells with long, protruding siphons, sweet and tender meat within that you can eat raw. On the other hand, Atlantic razor clams have a much milder flavour compared to their Pacific counterparts. These types of clams are best grilled or steamed.


Oysters are saltwater molluscs that are known for producing pearls. Often not a novice choice for shellfish, oyster lovers have declared that there is nothing like the fresh, briny taste of oysters. Though, to amateurs, the texture can prove to be rather challenging. 

Edible oysters live in the warm and temperate waters along the coasts of oceans and have been farmed for food for many years. Common oyster varieties include: 

  • European oysters – smaller shellfish species found on the Atlantic coast of England, France, the Netherlands, and Ireland.
  • Portuguese oysters – most commonly known as giant Pacific oysters, are a larger variety that can grow up to 10 inches. These oysters are usually found along the coasts of Europe and Asia. 
  • American oysters – able to grow up to seven inches in diameter, this species of oysters live on the Atlantic coast from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.


Mussels are another common bivalve mollusc that grows in saltwater habitats. They usually have long, oval-shaped hinged shells that are navy blue-black in colour. While freshwater mussel species also exist and appear similar to their saltwater counterparts, they are generally not eaten. Instead, the majority of mussels available for consumption today are commercially farmed. 

So, a handy tip for you when shopping for mussels is always to pick from the glossy heap of shells as those are usually live mussels. The best kinds to buy are ones with tightly-shut shells. 

Dive Into Mouthwatering Mollusks With All Big Frozen Food

Are you ready to whip up some mouthwatering shellfish dishes at home? Or perhaps host a seafood steamboat party? But, before you rush out to the seafood markets in Singapore, why not check out All Big Frozen Food, one of Singapore’s most trusted online seafood supplier, for our extensive range of frozen seafood and steamboat products?

From different varieties of frozen fish to frozen scallops, white clams, and flower clams, we have the perfect range of products for your seafood feast. And the best part is that we will deliver it right to your doorstep.

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