Barnacles: What Do They Taste Like? Are Barnacles Tasty?

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They feed with their feet while standing on their heads.

In a nutshell, it is barnacles. Isn’t it fascinating?

First and first, if anybody is still on the fence regarding whether or not to eat barnacles, let’s settle it once and for all.

The answer is a resounding yes. YES, people can consume barnacle flesh.

What more would you want to know about this unique seafood? Have you tried one before? Do you know how to prepare them? Or maybe you’re curious about what barnacles taste like.

Continue reading because you will discover all of the answers in this page.

What exactly are barnacles?

Barnacles are classed as Crustacea and are a form of arthropod (invertebrate animals with exoskeletons).

They mostly inhabit tidal and shallow seas.

Barnacles, which resemble snails and mussels in appearance, are really linked to lobsters and crabs.

In fact, if you look attentively at their insides, you could detect a crab-like body plan.

What was formerly thought to be a nuisance that coated the bottoms of boats is now considered a delicacy in many areas of the globe.

Even award-winning chefs, like as Ryan Poli, former head chef at Nashville’s The Catbird Seat restaurant, expressed an interest in incorporating these tasty aquatic critters into his menu.

Barnacles are becoming more popular in North American and European cuisines, despite their popularity in Portugal and Spain.

The gooseneck barnacle and acorn barnacle are the most favored for food among the several varieties.

Barnacles: What Do They Taste Like?

Barnacles are really rather tasty, believe it or not.

They certainly seem weird and unattractive.

If you can get beyond their appearance, you may quickly fall in love with the taste of barnacles, particularly if you like seafood.

Several individuals who have tried barnacles say they taste like lobsters.

The meat inside its tough skin is crunchy and delicious.

The taste of barnacles, on the other hand, varies depending on the variety.

Let’s compare the flavors of the two most popular edible barnacles, gooseneck barnacle and rock barnacle.

Gooseneck barnacles, also known as percebes, are tube-like creatures with a thin shell.

Similarly, they have the most flesh and have the feel of an octopus.

These barnacles have a sweet flavor that tastes like a cross between clam and lobster.

In Portugal and Spain, gooseneck barnacles are considered a delicacy.

Rock barnacles (also known as picoroco) often taste like scallops and crabs.

It goes without saying that the taste of your barnacles will be determined by how they are prepared and cooked.

Now, what about barnacles’ nutritional value? Are they safe for your health? Barnacles, surprisingly, have some health advantages since they are high in iodine, vitamin 12, fatty acids, calcium, minerals, and iron.

Barnacles are said to be beneficial to the health of your nails, skin, and hair.

They may also aid in the improvement of your metabolism and immune system.

How Do You Prepare Barnacles?

The intriguing element, which most people are ignorant of, is how to prepare barnacles. Can you cook them like any other kind of seafood?

Absolutely, if you use the appropriate type, barnacles can be cooked just like any other seafood.

Barnacles are often cooked by boiling them in salted water.

According to legend, the water must be made as salty as saltwater.

If you don’t have access to saltwater, just add roughly 70 grams of sea salt to one liter of mineral water.

But, be very cautious about how long and at what temperature you cook barnacles.

Even the smallest mistake may ruin the whole meal, leaving it flavorless and rubbery.

Bring the seawater to a boil before adding the barnacles.

Let to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To end the cooking process, drain the boiling water and place the cooked barnacles in an ice bath.

When you use this cooking procedure, your barnacles will be delicious and tender.

It’s quite easy to serve.

Just arrange your cooked barnacles on a platter and serve with a splash of lemon juice.

Your Spanish delicacy is ready to eat.

Last Thought

Barnacles are edible crustaceans with a sweet, mild, crab-like flavor.

When prepared correctly, these marine critters may easily become the standout dish for any event.

Barnacles are incredibly costly in Spain, costing more than 200 euros for around 2 pounds.

Consider yourself fortunate if you ever get the opportunity to sample this delicacy.

If you’re up for a culinary adventure, check out this delectable barnacle dish and try it at home.

You will not be sorry.


What does barnacle taste like?

The picoroco, or rock barnacle, lives in a shell that resembles a small volcano. It tastes like crab to me, while some say it tastes like scallops. Gooseneck barnacles, or percebes, have a feel akin to octopus or the soft-shell clam’s neck. These have a strong sea flavor to me.

Are barnacles good to eat?

Barnacles, believe it or not, are edible and tasty! That’s right, these animals, which are often regarded as marine pests, may be gathered and served just like any other seafood (if they’re the appropriate sort, of course).

Are goose barnacles tasty?

Gooseneck barnacles, also known as percebes, are crustaceans that cling to rocks in areas with breaking waves. They’re regarded a rare and delicious delicacy in Spain and Portugal, due to their sweet meat, which tastes like a mix between lobster and clam.

What are barnacles like to eat?

They eat voraciously on plankton, developing and molting into non-feeding, shrimp-like larvae. These larvae sink to the bottom and begin searching for a new home, restarting the cycle. Barnacles eat plankton that they sweep up with their fan-like feet from the sea.

Why do people eat barnacles?

Barnacles are highly valued delicacy due to their taste and texture. Barnacle flesh resembles that of snails or mussels, however barnacles are more closely related to crabs and lobsters. As a result, its flesh is a perfect blend of sweet and salty, with the same chewiness and juiciness as lobster meat.

Why are barnacles so expensive?

Why are goose barnacles so expensive? According to a Business Insider video, the crustaceans are so pricey because they are tough to capture. In addition to flotsam, they grow on rocks around coasts, which may be risky to collect owing to tides and weather conditions.

Who eats barnacles?

Barnacles consume plankton in the ocean and are consumed by a variety of predators including as starfish, dogwinkles, and ribbon worms. To feed, it sweeps the water with its legs, known as cirri, pulling in food and fanning out waste.

What lives inside a barnacle?

The barnacle has a mantle compartment in which it may lay hundreds of eggs at a time and can have up to six broods each year. The eggs spend the winter within the sac before hatching into tiny barnacles known as larvae.

Are barnacles painful for whales?

Barnacles are just along for the trip. They do not hurt whales or feed on them, as genuine parasites do. Barnacles provide little evident benefit to whales, but they do provide a spot for beneficial lice to attach to the whale without being carried away by water.

How much is a goose barnacle worth per pound?

15 to 25 cents per pound.

Your initial impression of Percebes gooseneck barnacles will undoubtedly be unforgettable. These gorgeous animals are an adventurous treat since they are both unusual and tasty.

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