Lagoon cockle is a name attributed to lamellibranch molluscs belonging to the Cardidae family. Their shell resembes a heart, which in some languages gives the name to these mollusks, heart of the sea.
Externally the shell is crossed by radial ribs, its color ranges from white to red-violet while internally it is porcelain white. There are three species of heart of the sea marketed in Italy: the edible heart, with a diameter around four to five centimeters, which is fished all year round on sandy bottoms; the tuberculated heart, more valuable than the previous one and with excellent meat; and finally the thorny heart, with ribs furrowed by thorns more evident towards one of the edges. This mullusc can be eaten raw, as long as it is very fresh, or cooked in soups and sauces.