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A bi-valve mollusk, considered a shellfish that is similar to a clam. Cockles, which are popular in Europe, are harvested similar to clams, by digging them out of the sand along a shoreline. Due to their sandy environment, they must be thoroughly washed to remove the gritty sand particles prior to preparation. Small and tender, they are eaten raw or cooked to be served as an appetizer, a main dish, a side dish, or an ingredient for soups and stews.

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