Do you remember the fish stalls by the sea? The smells! Ooh I loved the smells, but it was 30 years before I actually tried the wonderous delicacies. Pickled cockles are easy to make fresh, and eaten in this way they are superb.1 Kg cockles in shells
1 onion cut in rings
25 g brown sugar
15 g kosher salt
1 litre good malt vinegar
Add a little water to a large pan and bring to the boil.
Completely wash out the cockle shells and add to the pan. Place a lid on and cook for about a minute.
Sterilise a large jar – a kilner jar or some such.
Pick out the cockles and wash them again – there is always a bit of sand in them.
Layer the jar with cockles and onions, ending with onions.
Dissolve the salt and sugar in thee vinegar and pour over the cockles. Leave for at least 24 hours.
You can do the same with lemon juice instead of vinegar, adding some sliced lemon to the jar. You can also use white vinegar, but if you are using apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, make sure the acetic acid content is at least 5%.