One of our favourite things to do, other than bicycling, is beach walking. The beaches here on the North Sea Coast of South Holland are unbelievably wide…at low tide you could probably walk a kilometer in some places to reach the waterline. This guy decided it might be faster to ride out….
And they are long too…there really is nothing but beach and dunes as far as the eye can see in both directions.
In the picture on the right above, you just barely see the stacks from the port of Rotterdam (also called Europort), the largest port in Europe. From 1962 until 2002 it was the world’s busiest port, now overtaken first by Singapore and then Shanghai. Covering 105 square kilometres (41 sq mi), the port of Rotterdam now stretches over a distance of 40 kilometres (25 mi). It consists of the city centre’s historic harbor area, including Delfshaven; the Maashaven/Rijnhaven/Feijenoord complex; the harbours around Nieuw-Mathenesse; Waalhaven; Vondelingenplaat; Eemhaven; Botlek; Europoort, situated along the Calandkanaal, Nieuwe Waterweg and Scheur (the latter two being continuations of the Nieuwe Maas); and the reclaimed Maasvlakte area, which projects into the North Sea. Rotterdam consists of five distinct port areas and three distribution parks that facilitate the needs of a hinterland with 40,000,000 consumers. (from Wikipedia) and they are reclaiming more land to expand it even further!
Meanwhile back on the beach, we collect a few shells of the millions broken and strewn everywhere, especially huge numbers of razor clam shells. Looking deeper into this phenomenon, I find out that they are an introduced species and are doing quite well here in the North Sea….
The DFA razor clam fishery takes place in the south-western and northern coastal waters of The Netherlands. There are 8 licences for the fishery on razor clams (Ensis directus), 4 of which are in use. The vessels catch approximately 3,700 metric tonnes fresh weight. This is 46 per cent of the 2012 total allowable national catch (8,000mt). Dutch razor clams are mainly sold to the Spanish and Italian markets.
One of the places where you can find razor clams in FAO fishing area 27 is at the coasts of the North Sea. Since this is close to the Netherlands we are able to catch most of our razor clams ourselves. After we have caught them we depurate them. This means that they are kept in clean and salt water to spit out the sand. In this way you will not have sand between your teeth when you eat the razor clams. After the razor clams are depurated we freeze them to keep them fresh. As a supplier we sell our razor clams with their shell.
Razor clams have an unique texture and flavour. Their texture is quite similar to the texture of a squid and their flavour is very sweet. However, you should not cook them for too long since they will taste very tough if you do. Razor clams are quite low in calories since one hundred grams of them only contain about 92 calories. But this depends on the way in which you prepare them of course. Razor clams are a good source of proteins and they contain several B vitamins. They also contain some omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart since they help preventing heart diseases.
It sounds like I should put them on my “new foods to try” list!