Re: Speciation - how do you know?
Sun, 20 Oct 1996 15:43:40 -0400

> And how would you eat cockles without a pin? (These are like
> small snails; they're a favourite food around London - you
> know the song "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, O". Or
> is that Dublin and sweet Molly Malone? I've forgotten.)
> Paul.

'Twas in Dublin's fair city,
Where the girls are so pretty,
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone;
She wheeled her wheelbarrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying 'Cockles and mussels. alive, alive Oh.'

But cockles, and whelks, are (or were) sold deshelled: it's
winkles that need the pin: you first remove the operculum with
dexterious pinmanship and then carefully twist the dead marine snail out
of its shell, whole if you're good at it, dip it in the vinegar and
chew. The creature was a staple part of Northern European hominid diets
from at least 20,000 years ago (there are bone winkle pins in most
museums) until the early 1960s (at least so far as East and South London
evidence shows). I belive that in some coastal areas of the British
Isles they still form part of the diet of hominids during seasonal