Can You Eat Barnacles?

Looking for an exotic variation to seafood?  How about barnacles.  Those crunchy rock-like creatures that cover the rocks at the beach are meant to be consumed by predators with stronger than nail type teeth, but there are some varieties of barnacles that can be eaten by humans.

Yes, Spanish Goose barnacles are one of the varieties of barnacles that can be cooked and eaten.  They are considered to be a delicacy in coastal regions of Spain and are a traditional holiday side dish in most northern coastal areas of the country.

In order to prepare them for consumption, barnacles must be boiled in sea water.  If you don’t have a large jug of sea water sitting in the refrigerator, invest in sea salt and mix about 4 tablespoons per liter of water.  Add a bay leaf to the mixture and let boil for several minutes.

There is a trick to eating the barnacles.  Once removed from the boiling pot, the crustaceans appear like little crab legs. Grab the white claw and place the arm of the barnacle into your mouth.  Break the sleeve by biting down with your teeth. You can then slide the sleeve off and enjoy the tasty meat inside the arm of the barnacle.

It does take practice to get the technique down, so plan on giving it several tries before throwing into the towel.

Suzanne Somers

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