Galician Cockles—berberechos, in Spanish—are tiny, coveted clams, hand shucked and tinned in simple brine. The amount of handwork to get this done is extraordinary, and the care taken is evident as soon as you open the tin. The placement of each clam, the wonderful sweet sea aroma and the flavor and texture—ocean sweet, meaty, tender and succulent—are clearly a labor of love.
This is the kind of tinned seafood that you find almost nowhere besides Spain, where it's considered a delicacy. It may take some time to wrap your head around that idea, or wrap your wallet around the price, but if you know someone who loves special fishes, this is definitely worth splurging on.
Just open the tin and serve, like it's done at the best Barcelona tapas bars.
Zingerman's Food Tours is visiting Spain in October 2014. Join us for a behind the scenes journey to traditional food makers like this.