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How to Cook Periwinkles

author image Krissi Maarx
Krissi Maarx is a freelance writer who has written Web content since 2006. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in human services, with studies focusing on holistic healing, mental health care and medicinal botany. As a pet groomer, too, Maarx writes many dog-related articles for print and the Web.
How to Cook Periwinkles
Periwinkles. Photo Credit DAJ/amana images/Getty Images

Like most shellfish, periwinkles make you work for the delicious bits of meat they provide. The meal is worth the effort, though, because these tiny snails are a good source of protein, copper and zinc. They also are easy on the digestive system in comparison to eggs, fish and meat. Serve them as a light appetizer or chill them after cooking and incorporate them into a healthy bed of greens for a flavorful salad.

Simple Snack

Step 1

Rinse the periwinkles thoroughly to clean them.

Step 2

Place them in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, and then remove them immediately.

Step 3

Poke the meat with a pin or skewer to pull it out of the shell. Dip it in garlic butter for additional flavor.

Large Appetizer

Step 1

Cover 2 lbs. of periwinkles with water and mix in 1 cup of cornmeal. Pour out the water in about 30 minutes, retaining as much of the cornmeal in the pot as you can. Cover them with fresh water and allow them to soak another 30 minutes. Then drain them.

Step 2

Cover them with water and 2 tbsp. of vinegar in a medium saucepan. After bringing them to a boil, lower the heat and let them simmer for about 15 minutes or until the meat easily slips from the shell with a pin.

Step 3

Melt a stick of butter in a separate saucepan, and stir in a tablespoon of minced garlic. Allow it to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 4

Drain the snails and toss them with enough of the garlic butter to give them a light coating. Serve them with the remaining butter as a dipping sauce.

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