Another day, another chance to try new weird shit. Percebes, also known as goose barnacles, are frankly terrifying to look at, like the claws of baby dinosaurs or those wiggly little lost souls captured by Ursula in The Little Mermaid, only fossilised. Their smell is, not unsurprisingly, so much that of a rock pool that I'm instantly in Robin Hood's Bay, aged 11, about to get told off for getting my trainers wet. Despite appearances, at just €18/kg I thought I'd give them a go.
Cooking them couldn't be simpler; boil some water, as salty as the sea. Add the percebes, wait for the water to properly boil again and they're done.
Yep. Still worrying to look at.
Eating them, however, is a right faff - I must have been doing it a bit wrong, so covered I am now in salty coastal spray. You prize one off, wrestle it out of its weird flexible armour, then eat the long squidgy bit inside. The texture of tender squid, and a flavour like a lobster that has never left a particularly rock-pooly rock pool; sweet, pleasant, zinc-y fresh - but not something I'd rate over a decent crab (and they've every bit as fiddly). Worth trying, and given the chance I'd eat them again, but not like the truly fabulous RED PRAWNS experience I had a few weeks ago.