Long Island, New York
Info and artwork from Wikipedia, New York Sea Grant, New York Seafood Council, LovingLongIsland.com)
Long Island is an island in New York, USA. It has an area of 1,377 square and a population of about 7.5 million, making it the largest island in the 48 contiguous US states and the most populated in any US state or territory.
True to its name, the island is much longer than it is wide, jutting out some 118 miles from New York Harbor, with only from 12 to 20 miles between the Atlantic Ocean to the south and Long Island Sound to the north.
At one time, New York provided more than 60% of the nation's hard clams and Long Island’s Great South Bay was referred to as the world's richest clam factory. For every year from 1970 through 1994, the dockside value of hard clams landed in New York exceeded that of any other fish or shellfish species landed in the state.
Long Island hard clam harvesters are referred to as baymen, clammers, or clam diggers; and work primarily in Long Island's unique and extensive system of inshore bays and waterways, which are considered to be among the most productive areas for clams in the nation.
Clams are harvested in Long Island's South Shore bays from Nassau County to the Great South Bay and out to Southampton Town; in the Peconic and Gardiners Bay system on the East End; and along the North Shore in Long Island Sound from the eastern tip to the western towns in Nassau County.
Clams are also transplanted from Raritan Bay (south of Staten Island) to certified Long Island waters where they are re-harvested after a specified period of time.
Jon Kagan's recommendations for clam lovers near Long Island:
The Oyster Festival in Oyster Bay, biggest Long Island seafood festival. 300,000
people enter the village of only 5,000 for an October weekend that revolves around the local oystermen and baymen who harvest clams and oysters from the harbor. www.theoysterfestival.org
Bigelows New England Style Clams: Easily the best clam chowder I have ever had in my life, and I have been eating all across the country. Their whole belly clams are damn good, too.
The steamers from Canterbury Ales of Oyster Bay are fabulous.