Sunday, 5 February 2012

Animal, vegetable or mineral?

I'm still puzzling about what this mysterious creature could be, spotted in a restaurant window on Rua Augusta in Lisbon.

Any ideas?

I've never seen anything like it!


  1. They are a type of barnacle, I had them in Spain. Delish as well!

  2. oh you're a total star, thank you! I must pluck up the courage to try them when I'm next there :)

  3. they are Gooseneck barnacles - Pollicipes polymerus
    I just looked up cooking instructions out of interest as I have never eaten them: How to cook gooseneck barnacles

    First, choose your percebes. If they are long and slim like asparagus, it means that they grew in calmer coastal waters. They may look more attractive, but they’re not the ones you want. Look instead for short, stubby gooseneck barnacles, whose stunted growth was determined by violent, pounding waves. These have both more texture and more taste. Their smell – and flavour – is of the sea.

    Rinse off any sand and either steam or boil briefly in sea or salted water. “Agua a ferver, percebes botar,” goes the saying in Galician: when the water boils, throw out the percebes. Some people steam them above seasoned stock, but the classic preparation adds nothing to the water unless it is a bay leaf.

    A dozen per person is a standard ration. Eat them as is, or dabbed in butter.

    Simply break open the shell to press out the soft but firm, moist, pink meat, and bite it off.

    1. Thanks! I wonder if I can get hold of them in London...?

  4. They look like they should be dinosaur feet to me... Would love to hear if you can get hold of them in London!

  5. I'll keep an eye out at Billingsgate - they sell them online at the Fish Society but out of stock at the moment ! Boo


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