Podcast | Meet the clam, the PNW’s most beloved bivalve

Folk songs, clam bakes, aquaculture and more: Knute Berger explores the myriad ways clams have shaped our region’s culture.

Ivar Haglund surrounded by acres of clams

Ivar Haglund surrounded by acres of clams. (Ivars Restaurants)

Clams are among the Pacific Northwest’s most vital natural resources. From thousands of years of aquaculture to folk songs and university mascots, the celebration and consumption of clams permeates local food and culture.  

Cascade PBS’ resident historian Knute Berger dug up some of these stories in a recent episode of the Mossback’s Northwest video series, but there’s more left to uncover. 

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In this episode of Mossback, Berger and co-host Stephen Hegg discuss their own experiences digging for clams on the Washington coast; Indigenous knowledge and early settlers’ experiences with (and reliance on) clams; the lasting impact of Seattle restaurateur Ivar Haglund; and the strange but mighty geoduck.  

Plus, they take a field trip to Ivar’s Acres of Clams on the Seattle waterfront to eat clam chowder, drink clam nectar and do battle with seagulls.  

About the Hosts

Knute Berger

Knute Berger

Knute “Mossback” Berger is Crosscut's Editor-at-Large.

Stephen Hegg

Stephen Hegg

Stephen is formerly a senior video producer at Crosscut and KCTS 9. He specialized in arts and culture.