A small gastropod mollusc that is very common in the Atlantic and the Pacific, the periwinkle
resembles the snail
and moves in a similar fashion. Since periwinkles
do not move around during the day, it is best to fish
for them at night. They live in colonies among coastal rocks and crevices, and attach themselves to the pillars of wharves just below the surface of the sea.
The small spiral shell of the periwinkle
is thick and smooth. Closed by a bony protective plate called an operculum, it can be brown, greyish, or blackish with black or reddish spirals, depending on the species. Periwinkles
are mature enough to be eaten when they measure approximately 2 - 3 centimetres across.
can last for up to 3 days in the refrigerator when stored in a container covered by a damp cloth. Shelled periwinkles
can be frozen for approximately 3 months.
are washed, they should be shaken to make them retreat back into their shells.
only live periwinkles
whose shells are intact. Cook periwinkles
(1 tablespoon of salt per litre of water
), seawater, or court bouillon
. Place the periwinkles
in a pot and cover them with liquid; then cover the pot and bring the liquid to a boil
for only 5 minutes (if they are cooked any longer, they become tough and are very difficult to remove from their increasingly fragile shells
); then drain them. Extract
them from their shells with a pin after removing the operculum.
can be eaten hot or cold. Their lean flesh is similar to that of snails
, and they can be substituted for snails
in most recipes
. Although they are often marinated
, they can be eaten plain, with a touch of lemon
. Prepared in various ways, they are cooked in white-wine sauces
and used in salads
and appetizers. They are particularly delicious when grilled
over wood (be careful not to overcook them