From Clam Flats to Clam Shacks: Clamming on Massachusetts' North Shore
Gathered from mud flats during low tide using a simple fork and a basket, the clam has long been called "humble," "unobtrusive," and "modest." Yet over the course of the last century this mollusk has become the very basis for the identity of communities along the Massachusetts North Shore. As a symbol of New England, the humble clam tells a mighty story.
Clams have come a long way from their use in the colonial era as pig food and fishing bait. At prices ranging from $90 to $160 per bushel, these shellfish are now a luxury food enjoyed by tourists in clam shacks by the sea, and by inland city-dwellers alike. The clam’s is a story of consumers, but also of diggers, and a way of life born from the changing tides of industry. Today, the clam diggers of the North Shore balance time-honored practices and new challenges, while pulling our heritage from the sand.
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