Chewy with a flavor that hints of the seashore, cockles are small clams.
Today’s cockles were purchased by the cupful from the Swansea Market in Wales. I have to admit I was skeptical at first, however, they proved to be quite tasty. Cockles are a bi-valve in the Mollusk family and can be found in cultural cuisines all around the world. The small common cockle is more edible than other varieties in the same family.
From a culinary perspective, cockles can be steamed, stewed, baked, boiled or eaten raw. They have a delicate and distinctive flavor that is of the sea, but also has the tiniest hint of butter. I have not tried them warm yet but look forward to a nice bowl of warm cockles to warm the cockles of my heart. (:
From a nutritional perspective, you want to be sure the cockles you are eating are from an unpolluted source, especially since as bi-valves that act as a filter and can retain some of the toxins or pollutants found in the environment. If you can got some good ones then enjoy them! They are a very good source of quality protein. They are high in zinc and selenium as well as Vitamins A in the form of retinol. Zinc is a crucial part of cellular metabolism and immune function; it’s also critical for protein synthesis. Vitamin A is important for tissue health and repair. It’s also critical for eye health and can reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
Alive, alive-oh ....try some cockles if you can. Just avoid eating them during their breeding season, which is March to July.