In the Puget Sound, along the northwestern coast of Washington state, a clam known as the geoduck has been not-so-quietly residing for centuries. It’s native to the coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, but coveted by sushi chefs around the world.
Kotaro Kumita recalls when the sweet clam was relatively inexpensive in 1991, around the time when he moved to Seattle from Japan to learn English. But as Kumita notes, high rates of exporting geoduck to Asia have lead the price per pound to nearly triple.
Kumita is the chef at Seattle’s Wataru, where geoduck travels its shortest distance to land on an omakase menu, and is one of the only seafoods not flown in from Tokyo. “It’s the sweetest clam in the ocean,” says Kumita. “A sweet unique flavor which no other clam has.”