But Have You Poached Geoduck?

A few months ago, I tried geoduck for the first time. Prior to that, I christened “but have you tried geoduck?” as my personal catchphrase. You might say I’ve got a weird relationship with this funny-looking bivalve.

Apparently, I am not alone. A recent article – read it here – talks about how illegal harvesting of geoducks is costing the state of Washington a heckuva lot of clams. It is reported that 800,000 pounds are missing offshore, translating to a $14 million loss.

Fourteen million dollars!

My friend Mike brought this article to my attention. He jokingly asked whether Tara and I could account for our whereabouts, given our fascination with this rather tasty little delicacy. His comment may have been tongue-in-cheek, but I’m beginning to think the guy is onto something, after all. I’m thinking Tara and I should become geoduck poachers!

This would be an ideal pursuit for so many reasons…

  • The Washington coast is scenic. It’s a much better view than what you’d find parked behind a desk in a cubicle.
  • There’s nothing like fresh salt air to make you feel alive.
  • My catchphrase could double as a marketing slogan.
  • Geoduck is selling for $150 a pound in China. We’d be filthy stinkin’ rich!
  • Crack is wack, but ingesting geoduck won’t harm you. Seafood is both nutritious and delicious, as a matter of fact.
  • Did I mention we’d be rich?!

Let’s face it, this unemployment thing is getting old. Plus, Tara needs to find a job so she can move out here. This is perfect! We won’t have to deal with endless resumes and dressing up for interviews. Or that pesky little thing called income tax. Sure, we’ll have to invest in diving equipment. And work in the dead of night. And possibly deal with unsavory characters dressed in trench coats. Don’t laugh – those illegal fishmongers are a frightening bunch! But the pros definitely outweigh the cons (see: filthy stinkin’ rich). Plus, we’re both foodies, and any old time we felt like whipping up a geoduck gratin, all we’d have to do is reach into our bucket and pull out a fresh clam. So long as the dreaded East Coast Seafood Syndicate doesn’t catch us skimming the take, I see no flaw in this little plan of mine.

That baby's going to fetch a lot of clams! (Courtesy of zoodisk.com).

Maybe I can pull a Henry Hill and write a book about my experiences. Sell it to Hollywood, have Martin Scorsese make an Oscar-nominated film about it. Geofellas, anyone? Has a nice ring to it! Ray Liotta’s a bit old to play me, but surely Matt Damon would fit the bill. He’s more age-appropriate, and quite a dead ringer, if I do say so myself. OK, maybe not, but still. I would’ve suggested Mark Wahlberg but didn’t want to get too carried away.

Side note: I wrote an e-mail to Henry Hill once…and he responded. I was nearly beside myself with excitement. Henry Hill is the real-life gangster who betrayed the mob in exchange for his own freedom, and ended up in the witness protection program. There’s that scene in Goodfellas where they’re making spaghetti sauce and slicing the garlic really thin with a razor blade, and I asked him if that’s really how the boys did it. He confirmed that this was, indeed, a trick of the Italian trade. Naturally, I made a trip to the store and bought a pack of razor blades. The next time I made spaghetti, I sliced the garlic really thin with a razor blade. Didn’t notice any discernible difference in the flavor or texture of the sauce, but boy did I feel cool doing so!


I’d better make like Ralph Kramden and focus my efforts on this get-rich-quick geoduck scheme. I suppose I oughtta figure out a way to rig this post to self-destruct after a certain amount of time, just in case the Feds get wind of my plan.

Hmm, it may be time to drop Henry Hill another line…


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

21 thoughts on “But Have You Poached Geoduck?

  1. Here’s another little-known geoduck fact: The geoduck is the official mascot of The Evergreen State College in Olympia and is the inspiration for its Latin motto Omnia Extares (roughly translated: “Let it all hang out.”)


    1. I thought of you while writing this post, Kathy. Almost turned to you for assistance on keeping a low profile while dealing with the Feds. Wondered, in fact, if your dad might even have known Henry Hill! A good question to ponder…


    1. I suppose, but we’d have to blindfold you and drive you out to our harvesting spot in secret. Can’t trust anybody these days, ya know…even the person who invented my catchphrase!


  2. “Sell it to Hollywood, have Martin Scorsese make an Oscar-nominated film about it. Geofellas, anyone? ”

    Bwhahahhahahahaha! Mark, that CRACKED ME THE HELL UP!!!

    And yes, I do see the similarity between you and Matt; you could be his TWIN! Perhaps if this geoduckthingie doesn’t work out, you could apply to be his stand-in!

    That was very interesting to read about Henry Hill responding to your email, and his sharing his razor blade technique for slicing garlic. I may try that myself since I ADORE garlic!

    “Geoduck is selling for $150 a pound in China. We’d be filthy stinkin’ rich!”

    Holy shit! Do you need an assistant?

    FAB post, buddy! Enjoy your week!


    1. I know, right? It’s like Matt and I were cut from the same cloth. It’s a wonder I don’t have Ben Affleck knocking on my door, wondering if I feel like hanging out and having a few beers.

      If we do need an assistant, you’ll be the first person we call, Ron.


      1. LOL that matters? One that sleeps six with a galley and head. Or I could bring my canoe, but Tara and I get dibs on the comfy seats and you must sit in the front to do all the paddling.


  3. Good hell, did we really eat one of those things?? *shudders* I suspect if there was a picture of that on some of these sushi menus, it wouldn’t be in such high demand.


    1. LOL. At least the geoduck was cooked, which is more than can be said for the rest of the sushi on our plates (and trust me, you probably don’t want to see what some of those fish look like before they’ve been filleted, either). Either way, it was all delicious!


  4. sounds like a good plan – or maybe I meant to say crazy….
    Either way, I think I’d leave Henry Hill out of it – I’m pretty sure too much contact with him is not a good idea. definitely crazy.


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