Percebes. It’s seafood. Kinda. And this is its story. But first, here’s its picture. Take a hard look. Ever seen anything like it? Have any idea how to eat it? Or if it’s even edible?
I could wax on about it, but let’s have Wikipedia take a stab first … “Goose Barnacles (order Pedunculata), also called stalked barnacles or gooseneck barnacles, are filter-feeding crustaceans that live attached to hard surfaces of rocks and flotsam in the ocean intertidal zone. Percebes are lightly boiled in brine and served whole and hot under a napkin. To eat percebes, the diamond shaped foot is pinched between thumb and finger and the inner tube pulled out of the scaly case. The claw is removed and the remaining flesh is swallowed.”.
Sounds delish, yes? It ain’t. Also not cheap. We were walking around the town of Treviso and found a little food market. The picture called out to me. Not in hunger. But in curiosity. We asked the girl behind the counter, but she was light on English. She asked someone who asked someone and the answer returned was “stream”. What the? So I walked away. But being me, I just couldn’t let it lie. I had to know. So I order a plate. The girl showed me how to eat one and …
Nikki took the first bite, gagged, and promptly spit it out. Said it squirted in her mouth. (No jokes please. LOL!) The insides are this hot, black & gray tubule that reek of seawater. They taste something like licking a slimy underwater rock that has been microwaved. And yes, they squirt. Got me in the face, shirt, eye. And because I’m a cheap bastard, I ate half the plate. For 15 euros, I wasn’t going to do the one and done thing. Took a few hours for the taste to fade.
So anyway, when you’re next in Treviso, I highly recommend … 🙂