Buyer's guide

Winkles are sold live or cooked. Always smell fresh winkles - they should smell sweetly of the sea. Live winkles may move visibly.


Live winkles will need washing in lots of cold water then soaking in a little salted water for 30 minutes before boiling. Boiled in plenty of water, they take 3-4 minutes to cook. Once cooked, roll them in a little oil to make the shell glossy and serve with vinegar and salt (and a pin to extract the meat from the shell). It’s a little time-consuming to remove winkles from their shells, but worth the effort for the taste. Discard the hard foot at the top end; the rest is edible.