In 2013 a staggering 722 tons of whelks were landed in Weymouth Harbour, making it the 3rd biggest whelk port in England and Wales with a value of £545K according to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). Most would be exported to Europe but more recently the demand comes from Korea.
The fishing industry is important to Weymouth so this years’ Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival, 12-13 July, has launched the ‘Great British Whelk Revival’ to encourage us to welcome back the whelk into our diet.
Event Director, Brian Cooper says; “We need to highlight this amazing source of whelks on our doorstep. The UK lands over 10,000 tonnes of whelks each year but about 95% are exported to the Far East. Plentiful, low in calories, high in protein and containing over 10 times the amount of vitamin B12 than beef, whelks should be back on British menus and flying off fishmongers’ counters.’
Essentially a sea snail, whelks are delicious in a stir fry or sautéed with a little garlic butter and parsley which is why the Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival has teamed up with seafood loving chefs to raise the profile of this delicious mollusc.
Taher Jibet, Chef Proprietor of the award-winning Dining Room Restaurant in Weymouth, will be spearheading our ‘Great British Whelk Revival’ at this year’s festival, encouraging us to ‘love a whelk’. Visit his ‘Great British Whelk Revival’ stand at the Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival where Taher will be creating exclusive recipes including Tabasco® brand Pepper Sauce.
There will be ‘Whelkome’ demos, educational talks and whelk shell painting for the children. This is all part of the award winning The Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival, now in its 7th year – raising money for the Fishermen’s Mission charity.