It takes a lot of work to get at the plump nibble of flesh in a New Zealand Cockle, but the clean, lingering taste is worth the struggle. They are slightly sweet and briny with a firm and chewy texture.
Due to their small size, cockles cook quickly. They can be grilled, poached sautéed or steamed.
Cockles are a low fat, high protein seafood choice with an above average amount of healthful minerals such as selenium, zinc, iron and magnesium and B vitamins like niacin.