Southern Quahog Clam (Mercenaria campechiensis)
Habitat/distribution: found in sandy areas in shallow waters of Texas bays and estuaries.
Method of harvest: Due to concerns about habitat destruction and potential over-exploitation of the resource, Southern Quahogs are not currently fished commercially in the state of Texas, though recreational harvests are allowed, when in compliance with Parks & Wildlife regulations.
Season: like most other shellfish, keep to the cooler months.
Size: Southern quahogs are typically much larger than their northern cousins. Shell diameter often exceeds four inches.
Cooking characteristics: Southern Quahogs do not have a very good reputation at the table, which is a great shame. They are indeed very tasty, but the cook will do well to remember that Southern Quahogs must be cooked differently than smaller clams. If steamed or sautéed quickly, they will become quite tough. They are, however, quite decent when braised, and excellent in chowders. The foot is ridiculously good raw, marinated with a few drops of lemon juice and a touch of coarse salt.