We were to chance upon a very strange sight, 100’s of Cornish locals trigging furiously on Good Friday. Trigging is otherwise known as raking for cockles; a Cornish tradition that is thought to predate Christianity and involves the moon, the tides, a rake and lots of cockles. Naturally I had to get involved immediately and headed out into the estuary armed with a garden fork.
At low tide the cockles lie between 2 and 8cm below the surface, but with rocks and muddy water, it was quite a challenge. I quickly realised that if you scouted the ground that had been worked over by someone else, you could often find large fat cockles and clams sitting on top of mud that they had missed. I gathered a dozen large clams and probably 30 cockles as well as a solitary oyster. We cooked the clams and cockles on the BBQ until they popped open, then dipped them into garlic butter and lemon juice and ate them with bread. Simple and delicious.
We also gathered sea beat that was growing in profusion, taking the young leaves and stir frying them with garlic. This is an excellent (better in my opinion) alternative to spinach and is fantastic at this time of year.