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Food & Drink

Would You Eat Geoduck?

geoduck

 (USDA)

It’s not a duck, but it sure is gooey.

The poorly-spelled geoduck, which is pronounced “gooey duck,” is a large, burrowing clam that is native to the coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest. With a six-inch shell and up to a three-foot long siphon sticking out of it, it’s an odd duck, to say the least.

Burrowing deep within the soil below the salty waters, the mollusk has been known to live up to 150 years thanks to a paucity of predators for the strange-looking creature. But, of course, we number among them.

Not a common site on American tables outside of Washington and Oregon, the geoduck is close to common fare in its natural habitat, where its scallop-like texture is found to be appealing to many shellfish fans. Available for less than $10 a pop in local spots like Seattle's Pike Place Market, your best bet for buying it outside of the region is from online outlets like Marx Foods or Taylor Shellfish Farms, but it can cost $25 per pound or more.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it is also a prized delicacy in East Asia, where it is considered by some to be an aphrodisiac. A passing glance at its shape probably explains why.

Over there it’s eaten every which way – with spicy chilies, wasabi, and even raw – but geoduckrecipes.com suggests trying it in a white wine risotto with parmesan cheese, which sounds pretty tasty, but would you eat it?