What is Sand Mussel? How to Remove, Clean?

Sand Mussel

Sand Mussels: Difficult to Extract, Unique Taste! Sand mussel, one of the most preferred shellfish in Italian and Greek cuisine, is mostly found in the North Aegean in our country. Sand mussel is also known as akivades and cik cik in our country. This mussel species, which attracts a lot of attention in Europe, unfortunately does not see the value it deserves in our country. Therefore, sand mussel cultivation is very limited in our country. White mussels extracted from our seas are exported to Europe after processing.

Like all other shellfish, the benefits of clams are innumerable. This wonderful flavor can be cooked alone or added to various dishes, especially pasta, as a sauce. So, do you know how to remove the white mussel, how to clean it and how to cook it? The answers to all these questions are with you in the rest of our article…

What is Sand Mussel?

  • Sand mussel, as the name suggests, is a type of mussel.
  • These fingertip-sized mussels are known as akivades. It is known as cik cik among the people. In some regions, it is also referred to as the white mussel because of its white color.
  • In our country, sea mussel fishing is done in the North Aegean, around Ayvacık, Çanakkale.
  • This mussel, which is quite delicious, has just started to be known all over our country. Sand mussels extracted from the seas of our country are exported to Europe after processing.
  • Delicious delicacies are made from sand mussels.
  • It can be cooked alone or added to pasta and similar dishes as a sauce.

How to Clean Sand Mussels?

  • Mussels are a type of shellfish.
  • The most important and most difficult part of cooking mussels is cleaning the mussels.
  • So how to clean the white mussel? Here is the answer to this very curious question…
  • Sand mussels must be kept in plenty of water for at least one hour before cooking. Then wash it under running water several times. That is all!

How to Extract Sand Mussels?

  • The white mussel is found on the sandy floors of the Black Sea, Marmara and Aegean Seas in our country. It is usually 20-25 meters deep.
  • This type of mussel lives in flocks. In addition, thanks to their developed feet, they can constantly change their places.
  • They find food by scraping the sandy ground they are in. Therefore, it is difficult to remove.
  • It is extracted by fishermen who dive into the water as a result of long efforts.

How to Cook Sand Mussels?

Various dishes can be made from clams. The most common among these is the garlic aquivades. Now, if you wish, let us share the recipe of this delicious dish with you.

Ingredients for Garlic Aquivades

  • 1 kg akivades (white mussels)
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • Half a bunch of parsley
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Salt


  • First, clean the white mussels by soaking them in water as we explained above.
  • Then finely chop the pepper and garlic.
  • In a wide pan, first heat the olive oil. Then add the garlic and pepper on top and sauté until they turn a little color.
  • Add the lemon juice.
  • Then add the mussels and spices to the pot.
  • Add a small amount of water to it and close the lid of the pan. Thus, the mussels will begin to open with the steam formed.
  • After the mussels are opened, add the finely chopped parsley on it.
  • That is all! Garlic akivades are ready to serve!
  • Let’s add a little note without forgetting: This dish is given as vongole in many sources.

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