Cleanse them for a few hours in cold spring water, and then fry them in a batter made of bread-crumbs.*
After the cockles have been well washed, place them in a stew-pan over a slow fire till they open, and then take them out of their shells. Put an ounce of butter or lard, some finely-chopped parsley, a sliced onion, a little pepper, and a teaspoon-ful of anchovy, into a saucepan, with a little flour, and fry till it becomes brown. To this add a pint of water, or a pint and a half of milk, and when it boils, place in your cockles. Let it boil again for half an hour, then serve. The cockles being large will require to be cut in halves or quarters, previous to their being put into the soup; and the quantity required would be about two pounds' weight.
Wash the shells well, then place them in a saucepan of cold water with some salt in it. Let them simmer until the water boils up, when they are considered fully cooked; on no account allow them to remain longer on the fire. Take the fish out of the shells and wash them in clean water, then sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper; place them in a jar, and fill it up with vinegar. The fish thus pickled, should keep perfectly for a month.
* Forbes and Hanley, 'Brit. Moll.' vol. ii. p. 15.
In the Bay of Naples, where these cockles abound, they are eaten, as we are told by Poli,* either raw, or cooked with oil, pepper, salt, herbs, and bread-crumbs. They are called Cocciola at Naples, and Cappa tonda at Venice; and Major Byng Hall† speaks of cockles stewed in oil as being greatly prized by the natives of Madrid; and Cardium rusticum is known in Spain by the names of Marolos, Conchas, and Romeus.