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Cockle (Cerastoderma edule)
A variety of small bivalve mollusc, growing up to about 6cm in diameter, and found around coasts from the Mediterranean to the Baltic.
Fresh cockles (or indeed, frozen shelled cockles) may be used instead of clams in "Vongole Sauce", but great care must be made to wash away any grit. They can also be eaten raw as part of a "Fruits de Mer".
In Britain they are most often found, shelled and preserved in vinegar.
A larger variety 'the spiny cockle' (Acanthocardia Aculeata) is found on the Eastern Atlantic seaboard, as far north as The Channel Islands.
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