Glossary

Cockles

Cockles

Pronounce it: ko-kuls

They may be most associated with Dublin, alive alive-o, but cockles are available all over the world. Their small, heart-shaped shells contain a small, delicate morsel of flesh that can be eaten raw, steamed or boiled. A member of the clam family, although cockles may seem like a lot of work for little return, they have a delicious salty flavour that needs to be treated gently.

Availability

All year round.

Choose the best

Choose cockles with pale shells, as this indicates lighter flesh which is said to taste better.

Prepare it

Cockle shells are often full of sand so they should be soaked in fresh water for several hours before eating.

Store it

Refrigerate in a bowl under a damp cloth and use within 24 hours.

Cook it

Eat raw, served with vinegar and brown bread. Alternatively, boil or steam the shells, or use in soups and stews.

Alternatives

Try mussel or oyster.

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