You Should Start Buying Canned Clams. Here's Why

There's a belief, particularly with seafood, that fresh-caught is better than the canned option. However, with clams, it may be worth rethinking that notion.

Martha Stewart explains that clams commonly found in the tin are Atlantic surf clams, which are tender but toothsome with a sweet flavor, although the publication notes that whole clams tend to be brinier than their chopped counterparts. The website points out that canned shellfish is still rare here in the U.S. and suggests looking abroad for the ocean delicacies. Portugal and Spain, for example, have extensive tinned fish options since the conservas are part of their culture.

In terms of variety, the can has it. Simply Recipes describes the various claim options available on supermarket shelves — from whole baby clams to minced to chopped. Sometimes you can find smoked clams as well as clam juice. The website also points out that clams are cooked in the canning process, so they're quick and easy to plate if you're in a hurry to get dinner on the table.

Why you should buy canned clams

Taste points out that cooking with canned clams is a kitchen saver, since shucking the fresh mollusks leads to a countertop mess of brine and sand. The publication recommends using the $3 supermarket cans for most of your clam recipes, but states that the more expensive varieties are delicious straight out the tin without much adornment beyond a sprinkle of vinegar.

Given the ease of use, dishing up some canned clams is not only simple, it's also great for your health. The mollusks offer a wellness bonanza, according to The Daily Meal. Their toxicity risk is low, and they are chocked full of minerals, including calcium and potassium. The low calorie shellfish packs a bite-for-bite protein punch, at four grams per two ounce serving.

The next time you are at the market, grab a can or two. For an easy meal, swap out fresh clams for canned on clam pizza, linguine with clams, or in a New England chowder.