A Conversation for The Ubiquitous Cockle

"Cockles", hmmm ...

Post 1

Steve K.

It took this American a while to decide what a "cockle" is. Lessee, there's a song sung by John Gary (I think, spelling?), with the lyric:

"Cockles, and Mussels, alive alive oh."

(or something)

... and that singer was Irish. (Great voice). Plus the entry is by someone in the UK (I think, based on the entry "The Battle of Buranbagh"). So I know what mussels are, my guess is that cockles are ... oysters! (in American). In which case, no, thanks, I'll take boiled shrimp with red sauce ... but many of my friends love oysters, errr, cockles.


"Cockles", hmmm ...

Post 2

pop

Hi Steve
I have just returned from your wonderfull country can I take this opp ertunity to thank all Americans for their honest to goodness friendliness. My wife had an accident a couple of days before our trip and was confined to a wheelchair the help we received during our vacation made it a never to be forgotten trip.
About cockles, cockles are not oysters they are more in common with your clams but considerable smaller. They are consumed in large quantities in our pubs with copious ammounts of beer. We eat shrimps at social events such as weddings christnings and funerals usually on a large plate with a full salmon surrounded by the shrimps cockles and mussels. I think the Australians call cockles pipies and use them for bait.

Regards Pop


"Cockles", hmmm ...

Post 3

Steve K.

pop -

Glad you enjoyed your trip. My wife & I travelled to London a few years back and also had a great time. I missed the cockles in the pubs, but I did find the copious amounts of beer smiley - bigeyes.

Right, cockles are not oysters, my wife has since straightened me out. She says we have them here in Houston, but I don't recall seeing them in stores or on menus - oysters, yes, and clam chowder, shrimp, crawfish, smoked and grilled salmon ... I guess she gets out more than I do. My culinary preferences are more limited. smiley - hotdog


"Cockles", hmmm ...

Post 4

pop

Hi again Steve
what do Americans eat with their booze? I lived in Australia for five years in the late 60s early 70s at that time it was men only in the bars and the bars closed at 6pm it was called the six-oclock swill. The bars were very busy and the atmosphere was great a sort of macho bonding wih everybody pissed. I remember the food served,it was battered snapper and garfish served by a guy with a tray. It was absolutely delicious, maybe it was the atmosphere in the bar the beer or just plain hunger. Have you travelled to Spain? they eat tapas with their booze, a small savoury snack, squid,anchovy,whitebait,etc.

Regards Malcolm


"Cockles", hmmm ...

Post 5

Steve K.

Malcolm -

Hmmm, what do Americans eat with booze?

As you know, its a big place with lots of different customs. In Texas, where I live (somewhat like Australia?), many of the bars have little or no food at all. You go eat somewhere - a restaurant which serves beer and maybe liquor, then go to the bar to drink and listen to the music. Some of the restaurants have bars & stages for music, but most do not. One restaurant that I like has an outdoor bar/stage/tables and serves barbecue - and beer of course - during the music.

My wife was in Australia a year back for several weeks and loved it. Pretty much the usual tourist stuff except a strong emphasis on bird watching. She remembers a lot of fish in the pubs, but we have to eat fish in the restaurants, then go to the bar, mostly.

I have not been to Spain, but we have a restaurant here in Houston which serves tapas - a great place which we get to whenever we can. Yes, they have drinks and maybe some light music, but we still have to go somewhere else afterwards for the entertainment.

I should mention that the best food in Texas is Mexican - tacos, fajitas, nachos, tamales, ... and Margaritas plus Mexican beer (Tecate, Bohemia, Dos Equis, Corona) to drink. If anybody - restaurant, bar, party, carpool - serves this, they cannot go wrong. smiley - cool


"Cockles", hmmm ...

Post 6

pop

Hi Steve
You say that you live in Texas, we seem to have some things in common your wife visiting Australia us visiting America you and your wife visiting the UK. In March my wife and I visited London and shared the front seats on a red double-decker bus with a couple the same age approx as ourselves, late 50s early 60s, they where from Texas. We had a good conversation on our short journey, I told them that we had visited New-York and felt completely at home, all our lives with movies and television we recognised all the buildings places and the people.
The couple told us that they felt exactly the same way about London. They had taken in all the sights and shows and were really enjoying themselves.

Regards Malcolm


"Cockles", hmmm ...

Post 7

Steve K.

Malcolm -

It is indeed a small world. On our trip across the English Channel - from Dover to Calais and back on the hovercraft - my wife and I enjoyed a conversation with a couple from Argentina. The husband - an oil company engineer - spoke only limited English, but with the help of his wife's good English, we managed to laugh about all the oil companies. (I don't recall if I mentioned I am a chemical engineer, refineries, chemical plants, etc.) BP, Exxon, Shell, YPF, Pemex, they all got the razzing. A memorable conversation.

P.S. I've never been to New York - Boston, Philadelphia, Montreal, Quebec City, London, Washington, San Francisco, Wilmington - but never New York. How is it?

P.P.S. My wife is leaving for South Africa in a few weeks, any suggestions? She is travelling with a small group, mostly nature/birding folks, and a hired guide. The original plan was Madagasgar, didn't work out smiley - smiley


"Cockles", hmmm ...

Post 8

pop

Hi Steve
Sorry not to have replied earlier,first time on the machine for a few days. My son and I have been working hard. We run a construction business we have worked together since he was 16 years old, he is 35 now and taken over most of the work. I consider myself very fortunate to have been close to him all the years. Being a chemical engineer must be a very interesting career, I live in a small town in Lancashire called Fleetwood we had a large chemical plant here called the ICI, it employed a lot of local men but ICI have moved the procesing plants to other locations. You say your wife is interested in birds,while in Canada we visited Point Pelee it is a great place for birdwatching. You have some fabulous birds in America. About S.Africa we visited Cape Town and Durban en route' to Australia. This was 30 Years ago, during apartheid, things will have changed a whole lot since then. We took the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, I seem to remember lots of wild-life in the area. In Durban we visited the Zulu village in the "Valley of a thousand Hills" that was a good trip.
It is the Queens Jubilee this weekend plus the start of the soccer World Cup ,The Cross of St. George flags are flying everywhere and Red White and Blue buntings, I am looking forward to the holiday.

Best wishes
Malcolm


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