I tasted this little seafood for the first time at the Fornas do Guincho restaurant on Portugal’s Estoril Coast. It’s eaten plain as a first course. Unique to Portugal, goose barnacles are fished at Cabo da Roca, where they cling to the rocks. They look like a cluster of stones. In fact, goose barnacles are a very unstable crustaceans that depend on the movement of water; though they’re sometimes found on the coast, they generally prefer to cling to rocks in the ocean depths.
Wash the goose barnacles very well.
In a saucepan, heat some water to the boiling point with a bay leaf and a small handful of sea salt or, better yet, 1 part sea water to 2 parts fresh water;
3. immerse the barnacles in the boiling water for a few seconds, then serve them cold, on their own. Careful! Overcooking will toughen them.
4. gently twist the calcareous plate so that the edible part comes out of its brown canvas-like sheath. The white flesh is delicious, and to complete the experience, why not suck on the sleeve that encloses it? You’ll taste the sea!
Photo: Marietta Colllege
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