Shellfish: A Very British Image Crisis
The Food Programme · 29 minutes ·

Shellfish: A Very British Image Crisis

When was the last time you tucked into cockle pie? Or stirred clams into a sumptuous pasta or stew?

These bivalves are plentiful all around the UK coastline, tied up with the diets and fortunes of coastal communities for millennia. Many species can be efficiently farmed at minimal cost to the environment. Their nutritional value stacks up against mussels and oysters. And yet our desire for these 'uglier' shellfish is at risk of disappearing.

In this programme we meet chefs, fishermen and food thinkers trying to change that. One of Wales’s best chefs Nathan Davies put Welsh razor clams on his heat winning fish course on BBC Two's Great British Menu. Fisherman Tom Flatt who thinks there's a sustainable fishing future in hand dived shellfish. Cambridge scientist David Willer whose research could lead to environmentally sound shellfish farms that fight malnutrition across the world. Welsh food writer and thinker Carwyn Graves wants us to dwell on food traditions from the past in order to make our own in the future, and so we hear from people living in the Welsh village of Penclawdd, where cockles have been part of residents' lives for as far back as they can remember.

The problem they all face is the same; How to convince the UK to see past their ugly exterior and put shellfish back on the table.

Presented by Sheila Dillon.
Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.

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