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Please Pass the Snotwinkles
March 19, 2013 1:03 PM   Subscribe

Whelks: They're called snotwinkles on the East Coast, and they're "the next oyster" ?!
posted by peagood (82 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
"The Next Oyster"? As in, the next utterly disgusting thing that people eat despite looking, tasting, and feeling like mucus?
posted by explosion at 1:07 PM on March 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter's own may have mixed, pithily expressed feelings about this one.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:09 PM on March 19, 2013 [25 favorites]


Waiting for the obvious mefite to weigh in.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:10 PM on March 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


There's more than one of him!?
posted by MikeKD at 1:10 PM on March 19, 2013


I love it that the expert guy keeps calling them "snotwinkles" but the interviewer keeps calling them "whelks."
posted by ottereroticist at 1:12 PM on March 19, 2013 [15 favorites]


the next utterly disgusting thing that people eat despite looking, tasting, and feeling like mucus?

I've eaten whelks. They don't taste like mucus at all; they're actually quite tasty.

FWIW, I have also eaten snails (delicious in garlicky butter sauce), frog legs, oysters, mussels, etc.
posted by fraula at 1:13 PM on March 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


I see a sockpuppet being formed...
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:14 PM on March 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Let's not forget winkles and cockles too.
posted by NailsTheCat at 1:14 PM on March 19, 2013


"Snotwinkle" sounds like a pharmaceutical item sold on Diagon Alley.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:14 PM on March 19, 2013 [31 favorites]


Oysters: Taste like fresh seawater in springtime, feel like a cow sneezing down your throat.

(P.S. I actually like oysters in spite of finding that description accurate.)
posted by poe at 1:15 PM on March 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


"I’ve since tried my hand at preparing whelks in several ways – they are remarkably forgiving and versatile in that regard "

They're bred to want to be eaten, sir. Short-circuits the entire ethical dilemma.
posted by Devonian at 1:16 PM on March 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


"Snotwinkle" sounds like a pharmaceutical item sold on Diagon Alley.

Sounds like the most unfortunately named flower ever to me. Though perhaps an apt name for some hyperallegenic plant. Maybe they should change the name of ragweed to snotwinkle?
posted by yoink at 1:16 PM on March 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


pronounced "Snow twinkles" It's like how "worcester" is pronounced, sorta. We use it to weed out the tourists.
posted by boo_radley at 1:17 PM on March 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, sure, first it's "just" castration. Then comes the devouring.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:17 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oysters: Taste like fresh seawater in springtime, feel like a cow sneezing down your throat.

Surf n' turf.
posted by yoink at 1:17 PM on March 19, 2013


GRUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
posted by grobstein at 1:19 PM on March 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


It sounds like the first-draft name of a Jay Ward character: Snotwinkle J. Whelk.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:20 PM on March 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


pronounced "Snow twinkles"

I guess that's better that "snot winkles."
posted by spilon at 1:22 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can't we just admit it's all about the cocktail sauce anyway and just start eating that with a spoon? Why do we need to spread it on something that looks like it was found in Jabba the Hut's Kleenex in order to have permission to eat it?

See also: escargot and garlic butter.
posted by bondcliff at 1:24 PM on March 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


pronounced "Snow twinkles"

My first reading was "snot winkles." It's too late for me.
posted by DoubleLune at 1:24 PM on March 19, 2013 [15 favorites]


Whelks are not the only critter to be blessed with a snotty nickname. Everyone, meet the Snot Otter, though as far as I know they're not considered edible. By anybody. Please note that Snot Otters average 60cm, or just under two feet, long.
posted by workerant at 1:25 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also there is a new Hostess snack "Snotwinkies"
posted by grobstein at 1:26 PM on March 19, 2013


Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock

The houses are haunted
By white night-gowns.
None are green,
Or purple with green rings,
Or green with yellow rings,
Or yellow with blue rings.
None of them are strange,
With socks of lace
And beaded ceintures.
People are not going
To dream of baboons and periwinkles snotwinkles.
Only, here and there, an old sailor,
Drunk and asleep in his boots,
Catches Tigers
In red weather.

--Wallace Stevens, 1915

Honestly, I don't mind that change.
posted by mosk at 1:26 PM on March 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


pronounced "Snow twinkles" It's like how "worcester" is pronounced, sorta. We use it to weed out the tourists.

Confession: I used to pronounce "Nahant" NAY-int, because it couldn't possibly be the obvious pronunciation (rhymes with "a taunt"). I've lived in Massachusetts for 14 years now.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:26 PM on March 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Snotwinkle J. Whelk.

Snotwinkle J. Whelk III, I'll have you know.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:28 PM on March 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


I can't remember whether it was whelks, cockles or winkles, but one of them you could (and maybe still can?) buy vinegared in packets just as you would buy crisps or nuts. I never touched them, not least as they looked like little fetuses. They're not thought of as "high" cooking over here.
posted by Jehan at 1:30 PM on March 19, 2013


He's edible?
posted by zarq at 1:31 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oysters: Taste like fresh seawater in springtime, feel like a cow sneezing down your throat.

Thus spake a friend of mine, after having raw quahogs for the first time: "I've never had a food that tastes more so like cunnilingus."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:32 PM on March 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


Not sure it has a whelk's chance in a supernova of taking off, really.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:33 PM on March 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


bondcliff: "See also: escargot and garlic butter."
Tom drew a line in the dust with his big toe, and said:

"I dare you to step over that, and I'll lick you till you can't stand up. Anybody that'll take a dare will steal sheep."
In other words: you take that back.
posted by komara at 1:39 PM on March 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


You called?
posted by snotwinkle at 1:50 PM on March 19, 2013 [39 favorites]


My intention to make a joke about The Whelk's sockpuppet identity has just been one-upped.
posted by usonian at 1:52 PM on March 19, 2013


workerant: "Everyone, meet the Snot Otter, though as far as I know they're not considered edible"

Also not otters.

Disappoint.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:57 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


What about winkles? Let's bring those guys back.

My family are low class English and I remember my grandmother eating winkles and eels all the time.
posted by colie at 2:03 PM on March 19, 2013


pronounced "Snow twinkles" It's like how "worcester" is pronounced, sorta. We use it to weed out the tourists.

Why can't you East Coasters pronounce anything the way it's spelled?
posted by asnider at 2:09 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, go back to La Jolla, asnider.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:10 PM on March 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


That's pronounced arse-nider here in the United Kingdom.

Surprised nobody's mentioned the Bone-Eating Snot Worm which sounds like it'd make a good companion to the Quahog for the adventurous diner.
posted by Devonian at 2:30 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm from the East Coast and I never heard them called 'snotwinkles'. I predict pippies will be the next oyster.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:32 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why can't you East Coasters pronounce anything the way it's spelled?

It is a conspiracy to keep those of us from the center of the country down - just like questions on the SAT about regattas and hailing cabs.
posted by vorpal bunny at 2:40 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's pronounced arse-nider here in the United Kingdom.

Touché.
posted by asnider at 2:41 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thus spake a friend of mine, after having raw quahogs for the first time: "I've never had a food that tastes more so like cunnilingus."

::Cries in a corner, buys quahogs::
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:43 PM on March 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure garlic and butter makes anything palatable.
posted by maggieb at 2:51 PM on March 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


And maggieb gives us our first volunteer to be garlic-basted!
posted by nicebookrack at 3:09 PM on March 19, 2013


Other snots you may not remember:

The Snotwinkies. Short-lived Eno/Fripp/Nico collaboration. Played two gigs in Botus Fleming in 1974. Sole EP, "With The Snotwinkies", saw a solitary 200-unit pressing: now changes hands for as much as £400 when Fripp finds another copy and buys it to burn.

Snotmonkey's Revenge: British Raj-era Indian Army term for a parasitic disease of the upper respiratory tract caught from inhaling temple dust. Also called Gallon Spout, it could dangerously dehydrate the sufferer in one truly appalling three-minute session.

Moonsnot: the congealed sap of the knotted stenchvine, reputed to bring on powerful hallucinations that last between one and three months. Briefly popular in Florida in the 1960s, is thought to have been the original inspiration for the myth that man actually landed on the eponymous satellite.

S.N.O.T. - Societie National Obo-Tobo. Offshoot of the East Grinsted Dada movement, influence on L Ron Hubbard, and precursor to the Dagenham Girl Pipers. Obo-Tobo was a fictitious French African colony, and S.N.O.T. purportedly existed to preserve and publicise the pre-colonial culture and traditions of the tribes therein. Now thoroughly suppressed due to political correctness, although the outfit's obsession with phallocentric guerilla constructions (see also, Post Office Tower - The Hidden Story) and "Chocolate Orgy Synthesis" were intended as trenchant commentary on European prejudice.

SnotOS (from Software-neutral orthogonal time operating system): experimental operating system at Bell Labs, somewhat eclipsed by Ritchie's work on Unix. Like Unix, it was designed to be easy to port to different hardware platforms, but also was the first attempt to abstract the upper layers into run-time compiled opcode streams, much like Java. Ran like an absolute dog. Some interesting ideas not helped by the naming convention which saw the main programming language called SNEEZE, utilities called BOOGER and SLIME, and a real-time debugger called SPUTUM. Designer Rick Giggleswick went on to develop some of the ideas into Pee-code, but that ran like a dog with no legs.
posted by Devonian at 3:17 PM on March 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


I love whelks. They have awesome shells and awesome egg cases full of miniscule new baby whelks. There are lots of varieties and they create big beautiful shells.

A few years ago I visited some fishermen on Martha's Vineyard who talked about how they're doing with their whelk fishery. It's a growing area for them especially because other fisheries are constricting. They said they ship most of it to China, where it's enjoyed.

All that said, I've grown up on the East Coast - midAtlantic, TX and New England - and I've never heard anyone call them snotwinkles. I blame the Nova Scotians.
posted by Miko at 3:18 PM on March 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Actually, "minuscule new baby whelk" would be an impressive user name
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:22 PM on March 19, 2013


EmpressCallipygos: "Oysters: Taste like fresh seawater in springtime, feel like a cow sneezing down your throat.

Thus spake a friend of mine, after having raw quahogs for the first time: "I've never had a food that tastes more so like cunnilingus."
"

I neglect to see a downside here.

(Yes, I have actually had bluepoints (?). (It's been a few years. Illinois is not well know for their saltwater or shell fish. Closest I get as a guilty pleasure is fried clams.)

And, lo, I wish I had the money to register The Snot...Ummm... The Sno Twinkle as a shell puppet.
posted by Samizdata at 3:32 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


komara: "bondcliff: "See also: escargot and garlic butter."
Tom drew a line in the dust with his big toe, and said:

"I dare you to step over that, and I'll lick you till you can't stand up. Anybody that'll take a dare will steal sheep."
"

O...M...G...

So HAWT!
posted by Samizdata at 3:34 PM on March 19, 2013


(For reasons of good taste, I didn't mention the very esoteric Welsh seafood dish, most famously celebrated in the national song We'll Keep A Whelk Cum In The Hillsides.)
posted by Devonian at 3:35 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I blame the Nova Scotians.

I'm not a Nova Scotian (just a CFA for now), but I thinks dey calls em whelks round dese parts too.
posted by Flashman at 3:39 PM on March 19, 2013


Oh, go back to La Jolla, asnider.

What? That's pronounced exactly the way it's spelled.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:43 PM on March 19, 2013


You know, this fishmonger, Gregor Lerche (if that is his real name) must be pulling the author's leg calling them snotwinkles. There isn't a single mollusc-related result on Googwinkle, and wikipedia doesn't mention the term either
posted by Flashman at 3:58 PM on March 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


The Snotwinkies. Short-lived Eno/Fripp/Nico collaboration. Played two gigs in Bolus Phlegming

F.T.F.Y.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:00 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


With a name like 'Mangled Baby Ducks' it HAS to be delicious...
posted by rock swoon has no past at 5:14 PM on March 19, 2013


Dear, sweet minuscule new baby whelk, thank you for this fine absinthe that we are about to drink. Dear, tiny, sweet, sweet minuscule new baby whelk lying there in your natty tweed vest and tiny little vintage Eames chair please bless the absinthe so that it may warm our bellies and make us drunk, and that perhaps one of us will be inspired to entertaining public displays of foolishness and jocularity. Thank you minuscule new baby whelk. Amen.
posted by loquacious at 5:58 PM on March 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


About twelve years ago I joined my then-almost-fiance and his family on a trip to Paris (it sounds glamorous, but we slept on the floor of the dining room in their VRBO apartment).

They took us to a seafood place for dinner the first night and my future MIL ordered some kind of seafood medley. The one thing she couldn't recognize and wouldn't eat was this spiral shelled whatever, which the waiter told us was un bulot, but even the most fluent of us didn't know what it meant.

Anyway, nobody would eat it but I was feeling brave and bold and jet lagged and tipsy and I decided I'd go for it. Snot winkle would have been a pretty apt name for what I pulled out of that shell, really, but when I put it in my mouth, it was this heavenly chorus of deliciousness.

Of course nobody believed me that it was delicious and then back at the apartment I looked up every possible spelling for bulot and figured out it was a whelk and now I eat them whenever I can, which is rare, they're not commonly seen where I've lived.

And the story of how I bravely ate the snot winkle gets trotted out all the goddamn time as my mother in law's way of explaining to people how I dove into their family headfirst with no thought for my own safety, which is true, but not for the reasons she thinks.
posted by padraigin at 7:07 PM on March 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


sweet minuscule new baby whelks
posted by DoubleLune at 7:37 PM on March 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm glad that there are people who are not fond of fruits des mer. More for me!

However, I wonder how well stocks will be managed, if at all. I remember when geoduck was selling for less than $0.99CDN a pound back in the mid/late '80s in Vancouver. Nowadays, even small ones are selling for $20+ a pound whole (including shell and body) and larger specimens are sold for even higher prices. In the 1800's they dug up a geoduck in Oregon that was the size of a bungalow.
posted by porpoise at 7:40 PM on March 19, 2013


The comments here just made me laugh so hard that I spit up a mouthful of wine on my computer.

p.s. I thought that they were known as 'twinkles' on the East Coast of the US. Who knew it was Snotwinkle J. Whelk III.
posted by msjen at 7:45 PM on March 19, 2013


Where is the whelk to comment on this dangerous situation for his peoples IS HE IN ON IT OR WHAT?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:16 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]



Potomac Avenue: "Where is the whelk to comment on this dangerous situation for his peoples IS HE IN ON IT OR WHAT?"

I think someone ate him. [checking list] Next up: username Jellied Eels. [adjusting napkin-tie]
posted by not_on_display at 8:58 PM on March 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


There isn't a single mollusc-related result on Googwinkle, and wikipedia doesn't mention the term either

There's nothing in Google Books either, which is usually a productive go-to source for anachronisms.

I join you in calling "leg pull."
posted by Miko at 9:08 PM on March 19, 2013


I eat them all the time here. Very tasty.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:22 PM on March 19, 2013


When we were in Lyon a couple years ago, we used to have oysters and whelks for breakfast at Les Halles. Washed down with a glass of white wine, of course.

When the seafood is fresh, it doesn't need sauces. I usually eat oysters with only a sprinkle of lemon and the whelks can be eaten by dipping lightly in a mustard sauce.

(flickr pics of me eating said breakfast: Pic 1, Pic 2)
posted by vacapinta at 11:24 PM on March 19, 2013


"Snot otter" ought to be a vernacular term for "penis". All the vernacular names for Cryptobranchus alleganiensis should be vernacular terms for "penis": "hellbender", "devil dog", "mud-devil", "grampus", "Allegheny alligator", "mud dog", and "leverian water newt".

Okay, maybe not the last one.
posted by gingerest at 12:38 AM on March 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


In other news: Giant Sea Cucumber Eats With Its Anus
posted by homunculus at 1:10 AM on March 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


In the original book, Mary Poppins and Bert ate whelks when they had tea in the chalk picture. (I don't know if the whelks made it to Disney.)

"Best of all, there were two plates of whelks and two pins to pick them out with." That's the only place I ever heard of eating them; I've always wondered about these whelk pins and what they look like.
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:36 AM on March 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


In other news: Giant Sea Cucumber Eats With Its Anus

DEAR NATURE,

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! YOU ARE ALWAYS MAKING MY DAYS BRIGHT WITH NEW FACTS!

DO NOT EVER STOP

Love,

GaP


PS. That article is well worth reading, and "Multipurpose Anus" would also be an amazing band/user name.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:41 AM on March 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I first heard about Whelks via River Cottage then few weeks later one of our local restaurants here in Minnesota was serving them. I was amazed how good they tasted. Ever since that I have been looking for them but they tend to be hit an miss around here.
posted by The Violet Cypher at 7:42 AM on March 20, 2013


All the vernacular names for Cryptobranchus alleganiensis should be vernacular terms for "penis": "hellbender", "devil dog", "mud-devil", "grampus","Allegheny alligator", "mud dog", and "leverian water newt".

CAN'T.....STOP.....LAUGHING.....

(I think "grampus" is my favorite.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:48 AM on March 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ooh, from the comments for the sea cucumber article:

When they are threatened they turn themselves inside out and spray purple stained intestines on their attacker.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:51 AM on March 20, 2013


In other news: Giant Sea Cucumber Eats With Its Anus

When they are threatened they turn themselves inside out and spray purple stained intestines on their attacker.


I, for one, would like to see an episode of True Facts About the Sea Cucumber.
posted by peagood at 10:01 AM on March 20, 2013


Sea cucumber poo to save Great Barrier Reef: Sea cucumbers and their faeces could save coral reefs from the impacts of climate change, say experts.
posted by homunculus at 10:11 AM on March 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


You people are monsters.
posted by The Whelk at 11:56 AM on March 20, 2013 [13 favorites]


You people are monsters.

It's not our fault that you're delicious.
posted by loquacious at 5:24 PM on March 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


if I had a nickle....
posted by The Whelk at 5:30 PM on March 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


...you'd probably ask for a glass of milk?
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:19 AM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wish to add only that this thread, of all the threads I've read on MeFi, convinced me to shell out the five bucks and become an official member.

And to convert to the Church of the Minuscule New Baby Whelk.
posted by Cook.Bot at 8:00 AM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Shell out" - I see what you did there.
posted by gingerest at 9:50 PM on March 29, 2013


Conch you people ever have the self-control to pass up an easy pun?
posted by taz at 1:14 AM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


DMT Discovered in Marine Sponges
posted by homunculus at 10:55 AM on March 30, 2013


I gotta take more marine baths.
posted by The Whelk at 11:12 AM on March 30, 2013


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