Whelks Crawl Into the NYC Greenmarkets


The whelks surround the scale, waiting to be purchased (actually, just the shells).

Three weeks ago, Fork in the Road welcomed the whelks (a/k/a sea snails) to the menu of newly opened Bowery Diner, which we considered quite a stroke of genius on the restaurant’s part. They’re served raw, and also with garlic butter, the way the French serve escargot.

Whelks are sold steamed at the farmers’ markets.

Specifically, whelks were spotted at P.E. & D.D. Seafood, a stall at the Abingdon Square Greenmarket, today. The seafood outfit sails out of Riverhead, Long Island, and one of the fishermen told me, “We catch them in the same nets as the scallops.”

The whelks (he gave me a free sample) are cold and sweet, and would be especially good in a seafood salad. They’re chewy in a pleasant sort of way, and would probably go well with a number of sauces. Imagine the delight of your foodie friends if you served them in spaghetti with a garlic-butter sauce and parsley, for example.

Whelks sold at stall of P.E. and D.D. Seafood of Riverhead, Long Island