American Mussel Harvesters
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Specialty Items

Rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum)

Rockweed has long fronds with large egg-shaped air bladders set in series at regular intervals in the fronds and not stalked.  The fronds can reach 2m in length and are attached by a holdfast to rocks and boulders.  The fronds are olive-brown in color and somewhat compressed but without a mid-rib.  Rockweed is harvested for use in alginates, fertilizers and the manufacture of seaweed meal for animal and human consumption.  In the food industry, this seaweed is commonly used as a garnish decoration or for a traditional New England clam bake.

Periwinkles (Littorina littorea)

These brown to black spiral shaped common periwinkles are found off the rocky coasts or sandy shores of the Atlantic Ocean.  These small snail-like mollusks are harvested in three different grades according to size; nickel, dime and quarter.  Similar in relation to the land snail, they move on a fleshy foot and have a similar texture.  Periwinkles are vegetarian by nature, feeding on the thin film of diatoms and other algae covering the rocks they attach themselves to.  Their shells are conical spirals with natural tidal whorls, often marked with beautiful colors.

Periwinkles are high in protein and low in fat.  Cooking methods vary, but a common one is to simply sauté in butter, garlic, fresh herbs and wine and then remove from the shell with a toothpick.

Conch (Busycon spp)

This species is endemic to the eastern coast of the United States, from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to northern Florida.  Shells of the channeled whelk typically reach 5 to 8 inches in length.  The shell is smooth and generally pear-shaped with a large body whorl and a straight siphonal canal.  The color of the shell is typically a buff gray to light tan.  They tend to be nocturnal and are known to eat clams.