Sand ClamsSand Clams
©Sand Clams|Estelle COHIER
The clamEat light!

A powerful hazelnut taste!

Introduced to France in the 70s, the clam has a delicious nutty flavor. While blue is by far the most common color in the Granville Terre et Mer destination, there are other color varieties for the clam, such as grayish white, greenish gray, and sometimes even brown or black. They can measure up to 8 cm and like to bury themselves up to 10 cm deep. At Kairon, in Saint-Pair-sur-Mer, you’ll find them between the rocks, while at Champeaux, Sol Roc or Chausey, they’ll be buried in the sand. Clams are an important part of a healthy diet, thanks to all the minerals they contain.

Clam farms are present on Chausey. As far as farming is concerned, the spat is sown either manually or by machine. The beds are then covered with a net to prevent predators from attacking the small clams. Around 18 months later, the net is removed by the vénériculteurs (clam breeders) and the clams are harvested using a special machine.

Production in Normandy amounts to 320 tons for breeding and 50 tons for fishing.

Production in Normandy amounts to 320 tons for breeding and 50 tons for fishing.

Production in Normandy amounts to 320 tons for breeding and 50 tons for fishing.

Production in Normandy amounts to 320 tons for breeding and 50 tons for fishing.

How do you catch it?

It’s fished during high tides. To find it, nothing could be simpler. All you need to do is spot two holes slightly apart or stuck together, forming an “8”. To be respectful of the foreshore and its ecosystem, it’s usually picked up by the finger and eye. This “gentle” technique has long been used by our ancestors, and involves collecting shellfish without using tools that could damage the natural environment. Once you’ve spotted the bivalve’s hole, simply dig a few centimetres with your index finger or by hand.

It’s also possible to fish for it with a spoon or fork. If it’s too small, put it back in place, so it can grow up safe from predators.

It’s also possible to equip yourself with a claw with teeth or a rake. Be careful, however, to choose the right size tool! This is subject to precise regulations.

The regulatory catch size is 4 cm. The maximum quantity authorized is 100 individuals per day per tide, which is more than enough to feast on.

Adopt eco-responsible fishing

  • Equip yourself with boots in winter or neoprene slippers the other months of the year to avoid slipping on the rocks.
  • Take the time to consult the tide schedules and leave 1h30 to 2h before low tide to take full advantage. Ideally, you should follow the sea as it ebbs.
  • Respect the marine environment, and put back any clams that are too small.
  • Inform yourself of the minimum sizes to be respected.
  • Fish only what you can eat the same day.
  • Respect the fishing bans in force on signs at beach entrances.

Clam fishing spots

  • Saint-Martin de Bréhal: opposite the sailing school.
  • Chausey
  • Saint-Pair-sur-Mer: at Kairon, opposite the first-aid post.
  • Champeaux – Sol Roc

Clam fishing is a pleasant time to spend with family or friends, and with luck, to feast on the catch of the day.

Cooking tips

The clam is a highly prized shellfish that can be eaten both raw and cooked, often stuffed in the oven with snail butter.

And you can also cook them like mussels marinière. To do so, simply follow the steps below:

Heat the olive oil in a casserole dish over high heat and add the chopped garlic and onion and sauté for a few minutes.
As soon as the garlic and onion are colored, pour in the clams

Pour in the dry white wine while stirring the clams with a wooden spoon and leave to cook for a few minutes.

Once the clams have opened, sprinkle them with chopped parsley.