Whelks (bulots)

Old Jul 11, 16, 6:15 am
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Whelks (bulots)

Had them for the first time on most recent trip to France. Wow, so sorry I hadn't experienced these earlier in my life.

Quite the bargain too, $5-7Euro for ~10 whelks.

whelk seafood/brine + squeeze lemon juice + rich French mayo = Deliciousness

Local fishmongers here in Chicago can get them, but not often requested by customers. The fishmongers I did have conversations with cite the reason is lack of knowledge about whelks, not an aversion to eating them. I was able to purchase 5 lbs for $6.99 lb. These whelks were from Gloucester MA area.

Anyone else a fan?
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Old Jul 11, 16, 7:01 am
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Originally Posted by Sweet Willie View Post
Had them for the first time on most recent trip to France. Wow, so sorry I hadn't experienced these earlier in my life.

Anyone else a fan?
Oh yes, my father loved them and I distinctly remember eating them about the age of 8. It was 1965 in Cornwall UK IIRC.
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Old Jul 11, 16, 7:58 am
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My grandparents loved them, along with jellied eels.
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Old Jul 11, 16, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by USA_flyer View Post
My grandparents loved them, along with jellied eels.
I struggle with those.
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Old Jul 11, 16, 8:44 am
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I snapped a picture of some whelks (in the back) in Cannes back in May. I'm not sure what the pointy shellfish are in the second picture taken in Barcelona. The third was just downright scary. I googled the "percebes" label and found an English translation - Goose Barnacles! I'll stick with clams and mussels, thank you very much. Although I think I would like to try the whelk.
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Old Jul 11, 16, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by USA_flyer View Post
My grandparents loved them, along with jellied eels.
haven't tried, yet.
Originally Posted by BamaVol View Post
The third was just downright scary. I googled the "percebes" label and found an English translation - Goose Barnacles!
Ha! I just emailed a fishmonger to see if he can get some of those in, I'm up for it.

BTW, nice photos BamaVol
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Old Jul 11, 16, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Sweet Willie View Post
haven't tried, yet.Ha! I just emailed a fishmonger to see if he can get some of those in, I'm up for it.

BTW, nice photos BamaVol
I'll enjoying reading about it but I'm still scared.

This was my favorite meal in Cannes: I don't remember the French name, but White Bait over in the UK. Served with the best lemony tartar sauce ever.

I took a lot of pictures of food over a 2 week trip through Italy, France and Spain.
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Old Jul 11, 16, 4:39 pm
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Originally Posted by BamaVol View Post
This was my favorite meal in Cannes: I don't remember the French name, but White Bait over in the UK. Served with the best lemony tartar sauce ever.
reminds me of smelt served here in the US, but smelt are larger. When smelt were running, my Pop would treat my brother & I to a pub meal of fried smelt. Great stuff.
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Old Jul 11, 16, 5:49 pm
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Do they (when cooked) have any natural "crunch" to them?
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Old Jul 11, 16, 7:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Non-NonRev View Post
Do they (when cooked) have any natural "crunch" to them?
Nothing noticeable. I think the heat of the fryer "melts" the bones. I thought they might be anchovies. But reading later indicated that it might be a variety of young fish of different species. As young as they are, I don't think the bones amount to much. But they certainly aren't cleaned before being lightly breaded and fried.
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Old Jul 12, 16, 6:06 am
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Originally Posted by BamaVol View Post
But they certainly aren't cleaned before being lightly breaded and fried.
they look gutted in your photo. Frying/cooking does alter bone texture.

BTW, goose barnacles are $38 lb, I'll still order some once a local fishmonger gets them in but I personally won't be placing the 5lb minimum order!
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Old Jul 12, 16, 6:44 am
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Originally Posted by BamaVol View Post
I don't remember the French name, but White Bait over in the UK. Served with the best lemony tartar sauce ever.
I absolutely love them - only ever had them in the UK - England to be precise.
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Old Jul 15, 16, 6:19 am
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Originally Posted by BamaVol View Post
The third was just downright scary. I googled the "percebes" label and found an English translation - Goose Barnacles! I'll stick with clams and mussels, thank you very much.
I would say you missed out. Barnacles are one of my favorite delicacies, particularly the rock barnacles that you get in the Azores. Served in the shell with a little warm salty water, oh man... I did have barnacles on a recent trip to Barcelona and they weren't quite as good, but they also were not served in the shell.
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Old Jul 15, 16, 7:01 am
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Originally Posted by VivoPerLei View Post
I would say you missed out. Barnacles are one of my favorite delicacies, particularly the rock barnacles that you get in the Azores. Served in the shell with a little warm salty water, oh man... I did have barnacles on a recent trip to Barcelona and they weren't quite as good, but they also were not served in the shell.
To be fair, I never saw them on a menu, only at the market.

Actually one of my biggest fears in Barcelona was ordering something off a menu and getting an unpleasant surprise like a plate full of barnacles.

Most places I ate had menus that were partially translated into English with a few key apparently untranslatable Catalan words.
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Old Jul 15, 16, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by BamaVol View Post
To be fair, I never saw them on a menu, only at the market.

Actually one of my biggest fears in Barcelona was ordering something off a menu and getting an unpleasant surprise like a plate full of barnacles.

Most places I ate had menus that were partially translated into English with a few key apparently untranslatable Catalan words.
Kind of off topic, but did you happen to try the local Catalan mineral water? For my taste it was the best I've had anywhere
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