Here they are, recovered after some extensive scrambling around in rockpools and a grazed shin. Aren't they lovely, though?
I haven't included a photo of the winkle sans shell because they are not things of beauty - what shellfish are, quite frankly? But they taste amazing, little iodiney bites of seaside and sunshine.
We had them pretty simple and unadulterated - after rinsing they were boiled for twenty minutes and then piled into bowls where we fell upon them with pins - you have to "winkle" the flesh out you see, just like snails. A dish of garlic butter (I couldn't shake the escargot connection) proved a lovely addition, but they were fabulous just by themselves as well.
Unfortunately, it is late in the mussel season, so our foraging in that direction was slightly less successful: those that we found were delicious but a little on the dainty side:
Still, they made a perfectly pleasant, if light supper, briefly boiled with wine, the resulting juices being strained and combined with cream and garlic.
We've been walking along the beach today and have found a new spot which looks to be a veritable treasure trove of mussels - D reckons if we head back in September we could be in for a feast of crustaceans. Which is good news as far as I'm concerned; not only because I adore shellfish (and it is, incidentally, fantastically diet friendly) but because the act of gathering it yourself somehow makes it taste all the sweeter.
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