What Are Stewkey Blues, Where Do They Come From?

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Claire Pateman answered
'Stewkey Blues' is the nickname for a type of cockle. They are found at Stiffkey, in Norfolk. 'Stiffkey' is actually pronounced 'Stewkey', and the cockles have a dark grey-blue shell - hence the name.

Stiffkey is a small coastal village and its name means 'island of stumps'. This is in reference to the tree stumps that are found in the marsh. There was once a harbour at Stiffkey, but now it is completely silted up. This makes it the perfect breeding ground for cockles and 'Stewkey Blues' are particularly rich and meaty.

Cockles are members of the mollusc family which includes oysters and mussels. The traditional English way to eat freshly boiled cockles is with vinegar. Vendors are often found in coastal areas. You can also buy jars of cockles in vinegar in supermarkets. Cockles are also found in other cuisines, including Asian, where they are used in place of clams.

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