What Are Mollusks? A Guide to Enjoying Clams, Oysters, Scallops, Mussels, Squid + More!

What Are Mollusks? A Guide to Enjoying Clams, Oysters, Scallops, Mussels, Squid + More!


Hello again, Seafoodies!

Do you like
mollusks? We are talking about clams, oysters, mussels and squids! All are part
of the mollusk family. Full of flavor and rich in important nutrients, this
seafood is unique, sustainable and deliciously versatile. Read on as we break
down all there is to know about mollusks, and how to easily incorporate them
into your diet. 

Types of
Mollusks and Their Health Benefits:

Clams

Clams are popular for their flavor, versatility and high nutrient value.
Wow – just one 3-ounce serving of clams provides about two-thirds of the daily value
(DV) of iron, a vital mineral that helps to fight fatigue and support immune
health. Clams are an excellent source of complete proteins, which helps with muscle
building and repair. Additionally, clams provide vitamin B-12 necessary for
nerve function, as well as other important nutrients, like selenium, magnesium,
vitamin C, copper, phosphorus, and riboflavin – all crucial in maintaining optimal
health. To get more nutrient-rich clams in your diet, try adding them to sauces,
soups and appetizers.

Mussels

Revered for their light taste and tender consistency, mussels are rich
in vitamins and minerals that play a big role in your overall health. Like most
seafood, mussels are low in both sodium and saturated fat. But the benefits do
not stop there! Each serving of mussels provides a healthy dose of vitamin
B-12, selenium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Farm-raised mussels are a sustainable
and plentiful in the U.S. You have likely seen mussels featured as starters on
restaurant menus, but it’s a starter that eats like a meal. And mussels are so
easy and impressive to prepare at home!

Scallops

Scallops, like mussels, are a great source of magnesium. Plus, scallops
provide potassium, a mineral that helps regulate fluid balance and maintain a
healthy heart and brain. They have a wonderful level of potassium, which is
crucial for maintaining both a healthy heart and brain. Scallops work to
encourage blood vessel relaxation (through its high count of healthy fatty
acids), this in turn helps control blood pressure and enhance blood
circulation. Scallops are 80 percent lean protein, which helps make them
filling and satisfying. In fact, one 3-ounce serving of scallops provides a
whopping 20 grams of protein in less than 100 calories, making them a prime
protein pick. To sizzle the perfect scallops: Avoid excess water, the
enemy when you are trying to get a good home sear on a scallop. Talk to your
fish monger about the best options!

Oysters 

When it comes to packing a punch in a small bite, oysters shine! Oysters
offer a host of health benefits and serious flavor—it’s no wonder they’re a
global culinary favorite. Offering an amazing amount of health benefits
(essential vitamins and minerals), proteins, and flavor – it’s no wonder they
are prized all over the world. Sweet in taste and versatile with toppings, it
seems as though each oyster fan has their preferred serving method. In addition
to their taste, there are many reasons to love oysters. Nutritionally speaking,
oysters are rich in protein, vitamin D (for healthy bones, teeth and muscles),
zinc (which supports immune health by helping to fight off harmful bacteria and
viruses) and iron and copper (which work together to help carry oxygen to our
brain and maintain cell health). Sweet in taste and versatile, oysters
vary in flavor by region. Each part of the country has a unique oyster flavor
profile or brininess based on the region’s waterways and climate. Oh, reputable
fisheries have verified that you can forget that old wives’ tale that you should
only eat oysters in months with an R. So, you can enjoy them all year-round!

Squid

Often referred to as calamari, squid is tasty and nutritious. Like other
mollusks, squid contains numerous vitamins and minerals, including vitamin
B-12, potassium, iron, phosphorus, and copper. These nutrients work
synergistically to promote healthy blood cells, strong bones, and optimal
immune system. Whether its flash fried, air-fried or grilled – we love
squid.

Purchasing Mollusks:

Thanks to retailers and fish mongers across the country, the guess work
has been taken out of taking home spectacular clams, mussels and oysters. Below,
we have provided a simple breakdown of what to look for during your next
shopping trip:

Mollusks with Shells (Clams, Mussels and Oysters)

  • Shells should be intact without chips or nicks—to
    protect the meat inside.
  • Mollusk shells should be sealed closed. Clams and
    mussels will open naturally when they are cooked. Discard any shells that do
    not open during cooking. Oysters should be consumed or cooked as soon as the
    shell is opened.
  • Mollusks should smell like the ocean. If it
    smells fishy or has an ammonia odor, avoid.
  • Keep the shells cold until you are ready to cook
    or consume.
  • Our mussel recipe shows you how to remove the “beard!”

Scallops

  • Scallops should also smell like the ocean.
  • For a perfect sear, ask for dry scallops.
  • Look for scallops that have translucent meat
    (casting a perfect white hue).

Squid

  • Squid should smell fresh like the ocean and not
    fishy.
  • The squid should have both clear and smooth skin.
  • For convenience, purchase cleaned squid that has
    been cut into rings. The tentacles are edible!

Enjoying Mollusks:

Luckily, once you’ve picked out the perfect assortment try one of our favorite recipes for oysters, mussels, clams or scallops.

Char-Grilled Honey
Parmesan Oysters

A 180-degree
twist on your traditional oyster platter! Change up your routine raw oyster
with a tangy and vinegar bite in these sweet, decadent, and grilled honey
oysters sprinkled with parmesan. Your taste buds will not be
disappointed! 

Mussels
with White Wine Sauce

This decadent
experience of eating mussels bathed in white wine (straight from the shell) is a
gourmet experience in itself! The bonus of knowing you are eating a healthy and
nutritious meal is the icing on the cake. 

Baked
Stuffed Clams

With a touch of sweet and a dash of savory, these stuffed clams are one
of our most beloved Dish on Fish recipes. Not only are clams delicious to eat, they
are nutrient superstars! Loaded with lean sources of protein and healthy omega-3
fatty acids, these baked stuffed clams will make a great addition to any
culinary occasion. 

Air Fryer
Calamari 

Thanks to
the help of the handy air fryer, fresh and crispy calamari is no longer a
restaurant-only staple. You can also enjoy this amazing appetizer dish from the
comforts of your own home. Bonus points for getting creative with the side of
sauces!



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