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  • Cockles

    A ‘cockle tea’ at Leigh-on-Sea was a special treat when I was a kid. It consisted of a small dish of cockles drenched in vinegar and white pepper, a buttered bread roll and a mug of tea.

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  • #2
    But even more than the lovely grub, the attraction for us kids was being able to play on the mountains of cockle shells.

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    • #3
      According to The Fish Society, ‘In our opinion, the best cockles come from Essex.’

      https://www.thefishsociety.co.uk/blo...-focus-cockles

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      • #4
        They taste like clams, Gary ?
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
          They taste like clams, Gary ?
          Very similar, How.

          Seafood was usually on the menu for Sunday tea: shrimps and winkles in particular. You would usually buy them in pints from stalls outside the pubs.

          In my early teens I had a Sunday job at Billingsgate market removing whelks from their shells. That’s a mollusc too far for me.









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          • #6
            No idea what cockles cost or what shrimp sell for in the U.K. but fried clams by the half pint are expensive here in the U.S....even in the East. Nina and I spent over 50 dollars for seafood take out in Fairhaven, Mass ( Gene's Seafood....incomparable fried cod...mouth is watering thinking about it)...the bulk of the bill being the cost of the clams.

            Back in the late 19th and early 20th century, seafood and fish were probably among the least expensive foods in America.....in fact, the poor ate them while the more affluent preferred meat.

            As soon as fish and seafood began to rise in popularity among other classes than the poor, the prices did too. Hand on my heart, I didn't eat fish for over a decade until I moved back to Philly and had to have it every Friday ( Granny was Catholic). Now I eat it two-three times a week.
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            • #7
              I couldn’t tell you the prices off the top of my head. Not desperately expensive, though. When I speak of ‘shrimps’ I’m referring to the tiny brown shrimps rather than the larger ones we call prawns. I like both, but prefer the brown shrimps. I like fish and seafood in general, with the exception of whelks.

              I bought some kippers today. I had our dear friend Mr Linford in mind when I did so.

              As I’m sure you know, oysters were once the food of the London poor. Are you familiar with Dando the oyster eater?

              https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/georg...ter-eater/amp/

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              • #8
                Never heard of him, Gary. Thanks for that.....

                In late Victorian period Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Baltimore....little oyster stands would operate seemingly all night in various neighborhoods of these cities. Where hot dog carts and pretzel stands are in Philadelphia, for example, oyster stands existed. Chestnut vendors, too.

                Now I have to go get something to eat...
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                • #9
                  I have kipper fillets for breakfast, (with brown bread and scrape), on average once a week I suppose...was Robert keen on them too? Re the seafood and whelks, cockles and mussels I just love them...my fondest memories though are the winkles mum and I used to collect down the old rock pools at Black Rock, Brighton...now sadly covered for the most part by the Marina...you collected only the fresh or live ones that moved or smelled of the sea, then when you got home soaked them half an hour or so in a bowl of fresh water; next they were boiled a few minutes in lightly salted water and finally sprinkled with vinegar...eating was a fiddly business, pushing aside the tiny clear disc with a pin and then hooking out the meat...delicious and worth the trouble...haven't had them for years...hmm...some day soon...

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                  • #10
                    Although I've had to avoid salt to get to my current weight, I'd give a right arm to dig into a plate of batter fried cod and shrimp right now...with Heinz Malt Vinegar.

                    Nina doesn't like shrimp but loves those winkles ( they're called periwinkles in southeastern Massachusetts where she used to live).
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cogidubnus View Post
                      I have kipper fillets for breakfast, (with brown bread and scrape), on average once a week I suppose...was Robert keen on them too? Re the seafood and whelks, cockles and mussels I just love them...my fondest memories though are the winkles mum and I used to collect down the old rock pools at Black Rock, Brighton...now sadly covered for the most part by the Marina...you collected only the fresh or live ones that moved or smelled of the sea, then when you got home soaked them half an hour or so in a bowl of fresh water; next they were boiled a few minutes in lightly salted water and finally sprinkled with vinegar...eating was a fiddly business, pushing aside the tiny clear disc with a pin and then hooking out the meat...delicious and worth the trouble...haven't had them for years...hmm...some day soon...
                      Robert used to fantasise about Mrs Hudson bringing him kippers. Yes, brown bread is a must. It’s not that often I have kippers these days, but smoked mackerel and smoked haddock still feature regularly in our house. Mussels and scallops too.






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                      • #12
                        Winkles are like chewing the tyres on Dinky Toys.

                        Simon

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                        • #13
                          My Mom used to be the hostess at a (Philly Mob-operated) restaurant in NW Philly back in '73.. Twice a week, she'd bring home a brown bag filled to the top with fresh fried scallops covered with aluminum foil to prevent them from falling out. The cook gave them to my Mom as they always fried more than they sold. Man, do I miss those days. I'm talking at least 50 big scallops. Now you need a second job to buy that many......

                          Gary, Dave....is that the brown bread in a can ?
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                            Although I've had to avoid salt to get to my current weight, I'd give a right arm to dig into a plate of batter fried cod and shrimp right now...with Heinz Malt Vinegar.

                            Nina doesn't like shrimp but loves those winkles ( they're called periwinkles in southeastern Massachusetts where she used to live).
                            Yes, periwinkle is the old English name for them. Oddly it’s also the name of a flower. There was a Periwinkle Street in Wapping I think, before the London Dock was built.

                            Battered cod and fried potatoes with lashings of salt and malt vinegar is the classic fish and chips. It always tastes better when eaten by the sea for some reason.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                              My Mom used to be the hostess at a (Philly Mob-operated) restaurant in NW Philly back in '73.. Twice a week, she'd bring home a brown bag filled to the top with fresh fried scallops covered with aluminum foil to prevent them from falling out. The cook gave them to my Mom as they always fried more than they sold. Man, do I miss those days. I'm talking at least 50 big scallops. Now you need a second job to buy that many......

                              Gary, Dave....is that the brown bread in a can ?
                              Brown bread in a can? Never heard of that, How. Dave and I are thinking more along the lines of Hovis.

                              https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6Mq59ykPnAE

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