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Typical Products

Carpet-shell clam of Polesine


DESCRIPTION:

Vongola Verace del PolesineBelonging to the family of Veneridae (Clams), the carpet-shell clam of the Polesine is a mollusk of ovaloid shell shape, slightly truncated at the rear, with valves grooved by radial streaks which intersecting with well defined concentric growth grooves. It has a width varying between 4-6 cm. The longest specimen so far reported (83 mm) was fished in the Sacca di Goro (FE) and is kept in the educational collection of the Department of Biology and Evolution of the University of Ferrara. The minimum size is identified at 25 mm in length.
The outside colouring is usually whitish or light brownish, sometimes yellowish, with darker marks and streaks. The pulp is turgid, plump almost any time of the year. The inner surface of the valve is usually whitish, sometimes light yellow with violet tinges.


PRODUCTION AREA:

Basins and lagoons of the Polesine between the Po of Maistra and the river Po di Goro (FE).
It is bred in the lagoons of Polesine in the communes of Rosolina, Porto Viro and Porto Tolle totaling approximately 5,300 hectares, within the Park of the Po Delta. These areas are divided from the sea by a strip of sand named “scanno” (sandbank). The clams are produced between the mainland and the sandbank in areas where water circulation is abundant.
Introduced into Italy in the early 1980s, it has adapted prodigiously to the lagoon waters of the Adriatic. Italy is the leading European producer.


BIOLOGY, ECOLOGY AND HISTORY:

The carpet-shell clam is a particular clam species that originates in tropical seas and was introduced into the lagoon of the Veneto in the 1980s. Fishing for this species was carried out with traditional tools such as scrapers and rakes of a consistently low environmental impact. Catch was limited and it was considered a poor form of fishing. With the introduction of the new species however, there has been a real boom of the product. Beautifully adapted to local environmental conditions, the carpet-shell clam has colonized large areas of the lagoon.


SEASONALITY:

Fishing takes place throughout the year, touching the highest peaks at Christmas, Easter and during the month of August.


USEFUL TO KNOW:

The carpet-shell clam is a species that withstands short periods of emersion and therefore forms dense colonies that descend from lower tidal levels down to a depth of several metres.
Clams generally reproduce in July-August, the species has separate sexes, and fertilization takes place in water where the seed is released. Subsequently planktonic larvae are formed. Once freed, they float in the water until they find an ideal substrate on which to settle.
The clam has very lean meat and provides a good level of protein and a high dose of phosphorus, iron and vitamin A. It is consumed both raw and cooked as a base for sauces or as an ingredient in fish salads.


MARKETING:

It is marketed fresh and frozen.
It is available at fish markets in the Polesine area throughout the year and in the new outlet at the purification plant of the Consorzio Cooperative Pescatori del Polesine at Scardovari (RO) in Via della Sacca n°11, tel. 0426/389226 fax. 0426/389148 with the following opening hours to the public: from Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 12.00 am and from 2.00 to 5.00 pm.
Saturday from 9.00 to 12.00 am.


MARKET OF REFERENCE:

Consorzio Cooperative Pescatori del Polesine
Organizzazione di Produttori Soc.
Coop. A r. l.
Via della Sacca 11 - 45010 Scardovari (RO)
Tel. 0426 389226
Retail sales:
from Monday to Friday - morning and afternoon; Saturday - morning
Wholesale:
from Monday to Friday - morning and afternoon
(in some periods of the year also Saturdays and public holidays).
For information about opening hours, telephone 0426 389226.




Gastronomy:

CLAMS A LA POLESANA

Vongole alla PolesanaIngredients (for 10 servings)
50 g extra virgin olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic, pepper, 2,5 kg carpet-shell clams, 0,4 l white wine, 30 g lemon juice, 30 g chopped parsley

Method

Wash clams thoroughly and leave in salty water for a few hours.
Heat garlic in some oil and a little pepper then add drained clams.
Add white wine, stir and cover with a lid.
After a few minutes check the shells are all open and then remove from the heat and garnish with lemon and chopped parsley.
Serve immediately.



CLAM RAGOUT

If this ragout is used to dress spaghetti or other pasta, part of the clams can be left in their shells for presentation.

Ingredients (for 4 servings)
800g fresh clams, 30 g onion, 2 g garlic, 60 g olive oil, a bay leaf, 4 g of chopped parsley, 20 g of white wine, a few leaves of fresh basil.

Method
Wash clams. Heat to open them in a frying pan with a little oil and a few cloves of garlic on a high heat and covered with a lid then shell some of the clams. Brown chopped onion and garlic in a pan with some good quality olive oil, add white wine, clams (part of which unshelled), the parsley and torn basil and then season with salt and pepper.
This ragout is often cooked without tomato but if liked, chopped fresh tomato or better still, tomato sauce, may be added.




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