Some sturdy specimens photographed at a Chinese restaurant in San Mateo, California
Have you ever seen a creature — seagoing or not — with a longer schlong? Of course not. And even more so when you consider the size in relation to its puny body. Man, can you imagine the geoduck (pronounced “gooey-duck” — as to why, we leave it to your imagination) in a Playgirl spread?
The largest of siphon clams, the geoduck is native to the Pacific Northwest, and the name comes from Lushootseed, an Indian language. There’s another species in China, where the corresponding Chinese name means “elephant-trunk clam.” The Indians of the West Coast had no such ready-made comparison. Both species are now commercially grown.
The average weight of a mature specimen is three pounds, though individuals as large as 15 pounds have been recorded. About six feet is the upper limit of the siphon (a/k/a schlong), the protuberance by which the mollusk filters its food.
Geoducks live very long lives. The oldest specimen on record was 168 years old, and 100-year-old animals come along with some frequency.
Both Japanese and Chinese eat geoduck raw; the last time I had it that way was six years ago in a Sunset Park Cantonese restaurant on Sixth Avenue. It occasionally appears raw in high-end sushi bars. The siphon is usually cut thin, crosswise, and dipped in soy sauce.
It can also be stewed. Here’s a list of restaurants in town that serve it, supply and season permitting.
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