The Last Food of England
 
Picking whelks: the English eat more than any other nation in the world, except the Italians, but skirt around the subject in cookery books. The same goes for winkles and other foods considered too far below the salt and impolite to mention. Not all whelks are cooked for market. They can sometimes be seen live, oozing and schmoozing in fishmongers' trays. The little 'uns are returned to the sea to breed, and fill another pot another day. The shells pile up in porcelain mountains, which are removed to fill holes in people's drives.

South of England July 2004