Monday, 23 January 2017

Where do Cockles Come from? Discover Selangor, Heart of Malaysia

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You know.... we often hear comments that our children do not know where drumsticks, steaks, fillets etc come from. Actually, I don't know and am curious to find out where cockles come from as I love lots of blood cockles in my char kway teow, curry laksa, and curry mee. Recently, when there was a shortage of cockle supply, I was actually anxious that we might soon be unable to enjoy the taste of see hum (as we call it in Hokkien).

Thanks to Tourism Selangor's "Discover Selangor, Heart of Malaysia" campaign, I finally saw where some blood cockles come from - but, it wasn't what I expected.

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I was lucky to have a chance to see how blood cockles are harvested thanks to a trip organised by Tourism Selangor together with Firefly airlines. As we rode a motorboat out to sea, Md Saad Mahsah Saad, Tourism Selangor's Product Business Development Manager regaled us with fisherman tales about "the small one that got away" 😃

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I was surprised that cockles are harvested in the sea, in this case, not far from the mouth of Sungai Buloh in Selangor, Malaysia. I had always thought that blood cockles are dug up from slimy muddy banks 😛

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The cockle men go out to sea in small one-man motor boats and scoop up wild cockles that live on the shallow sea bed using a wire mesh cage on a long wooden pole. 

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The wire mesh scoops up wild cockles and whatever is on the seabed such as prawns, clams, horseshoe crabs, twigs and bottom debris.

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Where-do-Cockles-Come-from-Discover-Selangor-Heart-of-Malaysia

The catch of the day is brought back to the jetty once the little boat is fully loaded.

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Barrels of blood cockles are hauled up the jetty.

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The live blood cockles are in a heap with twigs and other debris.

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The barrels of cockles are then tipped into a large "washing machine".

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The cockles and everything in the barrel are tumbled and flushed with powerful jets of water.

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The washed cockles flushed clean, tumble onto a chute, and ready for hand sorting.

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The cockles are sorted according to size.

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Over 90% are just thumb size.

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Finally, when I enjoy my blood cockles, I have a good idea where it really comes from and appreciate the people who worked so hard, so that we can enjoy this irreplaceable favourite of Malaysians, Thais and Singaporeans. (There is no substitute for see hum for it's unique briny blood taste 😂 How do I know what blood tastes like? When we skinned our knees, palms or elbows when were boys, we licked our wounds 😂 )

Firefly-Airlines

Cockle harvesting is just one of the many enriching experiences with Tourism Selangor's Discover Selangor, Heart of Malaysia campaign. 

One of the top options to come to Selangor is by Firefly airline with a hard-to-beat balance of convenience, service, comfort and value (ticket includes 20kg complimentary check in luggage).

Date: 20 Jan 2017

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7 comments:

  1. Interesting. Are the see hums wild or farmed?

    --Chriszzz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Chriszzz. These are wild.

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  2. Interesting post, thanks for sharing! 😊

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm just like you thinking that it was dug up from the slimy muddy banks. How wrong can we be without seeing it with our own eyes on how it was actually harvested. Thanks Tony.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Bangkok ones are dug from muddy banks. But do you notice that cockles are much smaller nowadays? By the way,thanks for sharing.

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  5. Why do these Stone Age freaks eat with their hands? LOL DISGUSTING.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoy eating with hands too as it makes the total experience of some food like banana leaf rice and nasi lemak more enjoyable. Many of my family and friends found eating with hands lovely too.

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I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is unethical in the same way as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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