West Coast Vongole
West Coast Vongole (known as “the greys”) are harvested from the waters of the Eyre Peninsula and fed by the nutrient-rich water of the Southern Ocean. Grey Vongole is found in the intertidal waters mainly from around Venus Bay, Smoky Bay and Streaky Bay harvest zones.
Vongole is surveyed annually by PIRSA to determine the biomass of the species within the SASQAP certified harvest zones. The quota is held by multiple license holders who hand-rake to consumer demand under an organised schedule, delivering fresh, live vongole to the market.
Vongole is Italian for “clams”, and works brilliantly in dishes such as pasta or risotto, or simply eaten alone with crusty bread. It has a delicate and sweet white flesh, bursting with seaside flavour.
Live-in-bag 500g and 750g cryovac packs have a 10 day shelf life from pack day. The cryovac bag vacuum should still be tight when purchased. All vongole should be fully intact, with a pleasant and fresh ocean smell to them.
Live-loose sold per kilo has a 7 day shelf life. For loose vongole consumers should be looking for a closed shell (or near to) when they are given a light tap.
Tips and Facts
- Vongole are available all year round
- Vongole from a cryovac bag should be drained and rinsed prior to cooking
- While traditional wisdom suggests vongole that don’t open when cooked should be discarded, they are in fact fine to eat provided they still hold the fresh aroma of the sea
- Coffin Bay and West Coast Vongole do not require purging and therefore retain 100% of the natural sea flavour
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