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MOLLUSKS

there which is without a parallel anywhere else in the world. However, there are many other ways of prepar- ing mussels including the famous French dish moules à la marinière (mussels steamed open in a large covered pot with chopped shallots, herbs, white wine, vinegar, and butter). Mussels are also a useful ingredient in seafood stews and kindred dishes. Mussels can be steamed or fried, and it is also possible to dry mussels (after a boil- ing). In Thailand dried mussels are coated with sugar and then fried, producing an intriguing dish that might seem strange to western palates.

Those familiar with Irish culture know the song about Sweet Molly Malone who, in the streets of Dublin (where she is commemorated by a charming statue), would cry her wares: “Cockles and mussels alive alive o’.” Cockles constitute a large and important group of bi- valves, with the European Cerastoderma edule being the most important. In some places it is quite remarkably abundant; densities of over ten thousand individuals per square meter have been recorded. With a maximum mea- surement around 6 cm (2 inches), this is not the largest cockle; that distinction goes to the spiny cockle of the Mediterranean, Acanthocardia aculeata, whose body inside the shell is blood red, may reach 10 cm (4 in.). One of the cockles of the Pacific coast of North America, Clino- cardium nuttalli, may be slightly larger still. Cockles re- semble clams in their burrowing down into the sand.

Like oysters, mussels are visible wherever they grow. Another visible bivalve of gastronomic importance is the scallop, who for most of its life is not attached to any- thing but swims freely, using the rapid opening and shut- ting of its two shells as a means of propulsion. The muscle connecting the two shells is therefore particularly large and strong, a feature welcome to consumers since this white muscle is the principal edible part. (The orange- yellow coral is also eaten and the “mantle” or “frill” more rarely.)

Of the many species, Pecten maximus, the Great Scal-

lop, and Pecten jacobaeus, the Pilgrim scallop, are the best known in Europe. The former may measure 16 cm (6 in.) across, while the latter is smaller. It is, however, the lat- ter which has a special religious significance, since its shell has for very many centuries been the badge worn by pil- grims to the shrine of St. James at Santiago de Com- postela in Galicia. Indeed, the French name Coquille Saint-Jacques is sometimes applied to scallops in a more general way, as in the famous dish Coquilles Saint-Jacques à la provençale. Besides being a badge for pilgrims, scal- lops have a cultural significance in many other contexts, a point that is well brought out by Cox (1957).

The so-called bay scallop, Argopecten irradians, is the common commercial scallop of the American Atlantic coast. Its muscle, which is usually the only part sold, is a great delicacy. If really fresh, it may be eaten raw, fla- vored by its own juices. There is also a growing North American fishery for the Atlantic deep-sea scallop, Pla-

copecten magellicanus.

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FOOD AND CULTURE

The scallop is well provided with eyes. About fifty of these, green ringed prettily with blue, are set in the frill. These do not show the scallops where they are go- ing, since they are necessarily always going in the other direction, but they do warn them of any danger ap- proaching from behind.

Edible bivalves can be very small, such as the little wedge shells. Other bivalves, of which parts only can be eaten, are huge, notably the giant clam of the Indo- Pacific, Tridacna gigas, which can measure 1 meter (40 in.) across and weigh several hundred kilos; the shells from one of these can provide two washbasins or church fonts.

Because bivalves have two shells joined together, they symbolize in Chinese and other cultures a married couple. Although many of them are plain in color, some have very striking patterns on the outside of their shells, such as zig-zag markings.

Cephalopods

A comprehensive reference book published by the Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO (by Clyde F. E. Roper, Michael J. Sweeney, and Cornelia E. Nauen), pro- vides a good overview of the cephalopod fisheries, offer- ing information on over two hundred species. Although confined to species “of interest to fisheries,” this work does include some which are utilized at the subsistence and artisanal levels only and some which at present have only a potential value in commerce. A few cephalopods are of outstanding importance in commerce: squid of the genus Loligo and Todarodes pacificus, the Japanese flying squid, are outstanding examples. Squid account for ap- proximately 70 percent of the world catch, while cuttle- fish represent between 10 and 15 percent and octopus between 10 and 20 percent.

The “flying squid” do not really fly but can propel themselves out of the water and glide. They have longer and thinner bodies than other squid, which makes them less suitable for being stuffed. All squid have eight short and two long tentacles. The long ones can be shot out to catch prey. The size of adult squid varies greatly from little more than 20 cm (8 in.) to 20 m (67 ft.) overall.

Cuttlefish also have eight short and two long tenta- cles, but they are more compact than the squids, having a broader body. Their “ink,” like that of squid, is con- tained in sacs but may be expelled in large clouds to fa- cilitate evasive action. Cuttlefish ink was used historically to make the color sepia, and the Chinese have called the cuttlefish “the clerk of the sea-gods,” in a reference to the ink (Read, 1939). Generally, Chinese names for cephalopods are far more descriptive than English ones. For example, the Chinese call one small squid “shallow water soft fish,” indicating where it is found, while the cuttlefish may be known as “tiger-blotched black thief.” This highly specific nomenclature is in line with the fact that cephalopods play a larger part in food culture in China than in most other countries. While it is true that

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