Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

cockle a confusing name which is applied to many edible bivalves in different parts of the world. It would be convenient if it were reserved for members of the families Cardiidae (true cockles) and Glossidae (heart-cockles, see heart shell). As the information supplied below shows, there seems to be little hope of tidying up the nomenclature to this extent; but some encouragement may be derived from reflecting that the word ‘cockle’ is derived from classical Greek and Latin words meaning simply ‘shell’, and that its meaning has at least become narrower than that.