by Jarvo J June. 19, 2016 1188 views

The winkle (or periwinkle to some), Littorina littorea.

As a small boy, my mum would take me to the rock pools around Canvey Island and we would harvest the winkles. On the same trips we would walk out to the mudflats and go cockling. We'd take the winkles and cockles, Cardiidae, home and they would be our tea.

Winkles are very small and fiddly to eat, but if you gather enough of them it's a cheap way of feeding a family. All you need to add is a little vinegar and pepper, some bread and butter to accompany them and you're done.

These didn't come from Canvey they came from nearby Shoeburyness and we didn't eat them. It's a tradition that's died with my generation.

These were gathered because Cliff, who keeps marine fish, had a spare tank and wanted to use it to keep local sea creatures. The winkles, that always look so immobile when secured to a rock actually turned out to be a lively little bunch. We had to put them back after a couple of hours, because they kept escaping the tank and crawling around our house!

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Stormfish 4 years, 8 months ago

I respect nature's inventive ways of extracting energy from the void, so I won't scream in disgust of these, but... PLEASE TAKE THEM AWAY! PLEASSSSSEEEE! ;-)

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Gillian Parsons 4 years, 9 months ago

My children used to love Winkles and were expert with the needle😊 I prefer the shrimps prawns and crabs, enjoying some great fish here in Spain, great shots of these strange creatures.

4 years, 9 months ago Edited
Jacki 4 years, 9 months ago

Ha ha! Great story! We have a type of snail here in California that eats many garden plants. When I first moved here I had a relocation project. I'd pick them and put them in a large cup for taking to the park a block away. But by the time I'd get to the park they were crawling out of the cup.

4 years, 9 months ago Edited
Marilyn Grimble 4 years, 9 months ago

I remember those teas - but I only liked shrimps!!
I hadn't realised they were striped!
I remember mum used a needle to "winkle" them out!

4 years, 9 months ago Edited