Seafood or shellfish are food of high nutritional value, bringing our body proteins, lipids, vitamins and high quality minerals.
Their low lipid content, about 1/2%, gives these animals a limited caloric intake below 100 Kcal per 100 grams of product, and in particular lipid content is characterized by high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These favour the fluidity of the blood, reducing the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attack.
As regards mineral salts, molluscs provide a significant contribution of calcium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, magnesium and sodium. Even more significant is their content of iodine and selenium, typical of all fish products.
The sea urchin belongs to the Echinidae family and lives in contact with the seabed or otherwise fixed to a solid substrate.
Sea urchins prefer shallow depths and often populate the valuable seagrass meadows, plants on which they feed, and from which they often use the shadow.
Fresh sea urchins are a rich source of protein; they provide good amounts of phosphorus and iron, and have a low fat content.
During the months of May and June, due to the closed seasons, the Italian sea urchins cannot be consumed.
The Warty Venus is a bivalve mollusc belonging to the family of the Venerides that lives and prospers in sandy and muddy seabed at about 20 meters deep, sinking and breathing through siphons.
Warty Venus have a solid and durable shell, with a rough surface wrapped in relief streaks. The interior of the shell is shiny and white, while the outside can have various shades, from pale yellow to beige.
The Italian Warty Venus does not generally exceed 6 centimetres in size, with the most common specimens running on 3-4 centimetres. They are almost exclusively caught in the Gulf of Naples and in Puglia.
The mutable nassa is a gastropod mollusc with a spiral-shaped rounded shell, with semi-circular opening. The shell has a smooth surface and is dark yellow with irregular spots.
These shellfish have a high nutritional value, since they contain proteins rich in essential amino acids, much more digestible than those contained in meat from land animals. Fresh mutable nassa also contain lipids, mineral salts and vitamins in large quantities.
Italian mutable nassa are caught throughout the year, mainly in the Adriatic Sea, since it prefers the sandy and shallow Mediterranean seabed.
The Tellina, an edible cockle is a bivalve mollusc belonging to the Tellinidae family, with triangular shell but rounded in the ventral region, and a glossy external surface covered with a thin layer of light-olive coloured skin.
The tellina shell can vary from ivory-white to brownish, until light purple, while inside is white with extended purple areas.
The ideal habitat of tellinas is a sandy seabed, directly exposed to wave motion, preferably in shallow depth waters.
The tellina is a common mollusc in all Mediterranean Sea (especially in the Tyrrhenian Sea), in the Black Sea and in the Atlantic in general, it has an average length of 20 millimetres, but can also reach 50 millimetres.
Spiny murex is a gastropod mollusc belonging to the Muridae family, it looks like a large snail, with a sturdy shell embellished with spines and a hardly confusing shape.
The outer shell colour varies from yellow to brown, the colour of the wide oval opening from yellow to orange, while the mollusc body is dark with possible black streaks.
The fresh spiny murex can be easily found in the Mediterranean Sea, especially in the northern Adriatic, and prefers to live on muddy seabeds in crowded colonies, reaching a depth of up to 100 metres.
A little curiosity: the spiny murex played an important role in the history of civilization, being used by Egyptians, Phoenicians and Greeks to produce the purple dye.
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