Whelks were a common street food in Victorian times, sold out of wheelbarrows across London. They are now hugely underrated in the UK and sadly we export nearly all of them to Spain, France and the Far East, where they’re considered a delicacy. However, with a growing appreciation in the UK for locally-caught foods, these delicious shellfish are growing in popularity.

Be careful not to overcook whelks as they can become tough and chewy. To cook them, place the whelks in a pan of cold water and bring to a simmer – it is important not to let the water boil, so keep an eye on it. Whelks taste incredible simmered in white wine with onion, then doused in garlic butter with a sprinkle of parsley. Whelks are sustainable, the collection has a low-impact on the seabed, and they are incredibly versatile.

Adapted from Love Seafood


Seafood type:


Best during:

January - September

Cooking recommendations:

Simmer, shallow fry, deep fry

Nearest Alternatives:

Cockles Mussels