3 Ways Mussels and Clams Are Different

Mussels and clams sometimes get mistaken for one another. Read on to learn more about what sets them apart and find out how you can enjoy both delicacies at JB Hook’s. Our legendary seafood at the Lake of the Ozarks is beyond compare!


Size and Shape
Clams and mussels are both enclosed by shells with somewhat similar shapes. If someone looked closely, though, they would find that clams are more circular or oval, while mussels have a longer, thinner shape.
Mussels are some of the smallest species of mollusks, typically measuring around two inches long. Clams can grow much larger. In fact, giant clams grow up to six feet in length. Can you imagine the pearl from a clam that big? One such pearl discovered in a giant clam weighed in at 14 pounds!


How They Behave in Their Environment
Mussels, much like oysters, root to where they grow and prefer to remain in one place. They can live in both freshwater and saltwater.
Clams can only live in freshwater, but they are also able to move about their environment with a large “foot”. They can stick this foot out and push themselves along the surface to where they want to go. In fact, clams have more than just a foot. Unlike mussels, clams have bodily organs including a digestive system, circulatory system, and even a heart. When they aren’t moving, they like to burrow beneath the sand and hide from predators.

Flavor Profile
Clams and mussels both have a salty, mild flavor. Mussels are the milder of the two mollusks and tend to take on the flavor of the dish they accompany. Their sea-like flavor and soft, tender chewiness make them a crowd favorite. Clams have a subtle seafood flavor and tend to be a bit chewier than their counterparts.
Clams are commonly used in soups and chowders because their texture and flavor can stand up to the additional ingredients. A few other ways to enjoy them are on pizza, sprinkled on a salad, or chopped into a stuffing for a filling, flavorful option.
Mussels shine best when served with simple dishes. Add them to a clean broth for a bright reminder of the sea or serve alone with drawn butter or a side of horseradish.   


Enjoy Both at JB Hook’s!
Both clams and mussels can be consumed raw or cooked. At JB Hook’s, our favorite way to enjoy them is steamed with white wine, garlic, butter, and lemon. Order them from our menu tonight: Steamed Little Neck Clams or Steamed Blue Mussels. We think you will agree – JB Hook’s serves the best seafood at the Lake of the Ozarks.  

The Lake's Best Ocean Fish and Steaks


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2260 Bagnell Dam Blvd.
Lake Ozark, MO 65049

(573) 365-3255 


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