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Cockle (Cardium edule; Austrovenus stutchburyi (formerly Chione stutchburyi); Anadara spp.)

Cockle Cockle

Common names for Cockle

Common cockle, European cockle; New Zealand cockle, New Zealand littleneck clam, Venus clam; blood cockle

Other languages for Cockle

  • French name: Coque
  • Italian name: Cuore
  • German name: Herzmuschel

Introduction to Cockle

Although there are over 200 kinds of bivalve mollusks classified as cockles globally, only around a half dozen are harvested commercially as seafood. Once extensively utilized as bait, cockles are now served in upscale restaurants. Due of the cockle’s recent transition from bait to plate, the business is still mostly unregulated in many places. New Zealand and Australia are notable outliers, where harmful mechanical harvesting is prohibited and handling and processing are strictly controlled. The majority of cockles marketed in the United States are Austrovenus strutchburyi from New Zealand aquaculture operations, while a lesser proportion are blood cockles (Anadara granosa) farmed in Thailand and Malaysia and fished wild in Indonesia. South Australia is set to join the cockle market in the United States. Common cockles from the United Kingdom are mainly marketed in the United States as speciality goods (pickled or vacuum packed with vinegar). Although mangrove cockles (Anadara grandis) constitute a significant artisanal fishery in a number of Pacific coastal towns from Mexico to Peru, and the common cockle is an increasingly important fishery in the United Kingdom, the markets for each species are mainly localized.

Product profile for Cockle

Cockles come in a variety of sizes, both within and across species. The color of raw beef is gray and brown, but when cooked, it develops a creamy tone. When cooked, the crimson flesh creates a reddish-brown liquid, thus the term “blood cockles.” Cockles have a taste and texture comparable to clams, ranging from somewhat sweet (New Zealand cockles) to more salty (European cockles).

Cooking tips for Cockle

As soon as the shells open, live cockles are fully cooked; if overdone, they immediately shrivel. Steamed cockles with vinegar – Molly Malone’s famed dish — are a classic delicacy in the United Kingdom. Try grilling cockles in their shells for an Aussie twist. Stir-fry cockles with veggies or serve in a ginger or chile sauce for a traditional Asian dish. Cockle stews and pasta dishes, as well as cockles roasted in the shell, are popular in western continental Europe, where cockles are in great demand.

Nutrition facts for Cockle

Calories: 39 Fat Calories: 4.5 Total Fat: 0.5 g Saturated Fat: 0.2 Cholesterol: 47 mg Sodium: 350 mg Protein: 8.5 g Omega 3: N/A

Primary product forms for Cockle

Fresh: Meats Frozen: Meats Value-added: Canned

Global supply for Cockle

Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, United Kingdom, Iran