The razor clam, razor fish, or spoot, is a bivalve living buried in sandy beaches. It has an elongated, rectangular shape, whose similarity to a straight razor gives it its name. The shells are fragile, with open ends; the outside is whitish with reddish-brown or purplish-brown markings; the inner surface is white with a purple tinge. Many populations of razor shell have declined as a result of overfishing; they are also sensitive to minor changes in salinity and temperature. What is the origin and cause of this mass of shells in July?
Rare on menus, razor clams make good eating, their sweet delicate white flesh resembles squid. The Marine Conservation Society recommends avoiding razors below 10cm in length and not to foraging or buying foraged clams from May to September. The classic method for cooking them is by steaming in a flavoured liquid, perhaps with a splash of wine and some sweated onions and garlic.
Photos: Razor clams, near Gun Hill, Burnham Harbour, July 2017