Characteristics of the cockleCaracterísticas del berberecho
- Common name: Galician cockle
- Scientific name: Cerastoderma Edule
- Gender: Male
- Origin: Galician
- Residence: The Galician Rías Baixas
- Height: 3 to 5 cm
- Weight: Between 7 and 45 gr
- Energy (in kilocalories): 83 Kcal
- Carbohydrates (in grams):5 g
- Fats (in grams): 1 g
- Protein (in grams):9 g
- Vitamins: Vitamin A,B1,B2,B3,B6,B9,B12,D,E
- Minerals: Calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, selenium, iodine, zinc.
History and presentation
I am the Galician cockle, also known as the greenfinch, a bivalve mollusc that lives in saltwater. I belong to the Cardiidae family and my scientific name is Cerastoderma Edule.
I live buried in soft bottoms of fine sand. I inhabit the beds of the estuaries, which are loaded with nutrients. I can withstand adverse environmental conditions.
I feed on tiny plants and animals that I find in my sandy environment.
My shell is convex, deep and oval, and white or white and brown with greyish tones and brown spots.
I’m going to tell you a curiosity; my heart shape originally gave it the name of edible heart (Cardium edule).
I am an extraordinary food from a nutritional point of view. I provide essential nutrients such as iodine and iron, vitamins such as niacin and vitamin A and a very low intake of fat and calories. I am being used more and more in Spanish gastronomy thanks to my exquisite taste and the ease with which I can be cooked.
Perhaps I am the one who best reproduces the taste of Galicia in the mouth.
The cockle, as it is known throughout Spain, is also known in Galicia, and especially in Vigo, as verdigón, chícaro, crica or croque. This last name arises as a deformation of the name given to this seafood in English: cockle.
It is a bivalve mollusc as well as clams, mussels, oysters and the famous Galician razor. It can be found on sandy bottoms of seas and oceans all over the world, and especially in some estuaries of Galicia.
It is possible to get it alive and fresh, but also frozen. This makes it an ideal product to buy in online shops with home delivery.
The preparation methods are very varied. One of the most popular recipes, which is usually eaten as a tapa in bars and restaurants all over the country, is steamed cockles.
The process involves putting the shellfish in a pot covered with boiling seawater – this can also be done with white wine – for a few minutes until they open, and then removing them quickly to avoid overcooking. The remaining liquid in the pot preserves all the taste of the shells and is ideal for pouring over the plate.
It is very important, before cooking them, to do what in Galicia is called “desbabar”, to remove all the sand that may be inside the shells. The cockles should be placed in cold water with salt and the process repeated several times.
Another typical recipe from the Galician port areas is the “empanada de croques”. The process of steaming is the same, and then the cockles are used as a filling in a corn dough with peppers, onions and paprika.
In addition, it is very common to include the cockles in paellas and also to consume them in vinegar preserves.
What type of cockle should I buy?
More than 200 species of the cockle family have been identified, although not all of them are edible. The European variety, which is the one found in the Galician estuaries, is called Cerastoderma edule.
This subspecies can be recognised by its light colour between white and yellowish with dark lines and its very rough radial trenches crossed by concentric stripes. Its average size in adulthood is about six centimetres.
In Marisco Galego’s online shop you can buy the best cockles from the Galician estuaries at the best price and with home delivery.
- Nombre Común: Berberecho Gallego
- Nombre Científico: Cerasterma Edule
- Género: Masculino
- Origen: Gallego
- Residencia: Las rías bajas gallegas
- Altura: De 3 a 5 cm
- Peso: Entre 7 y 45 gr