Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ecuador's Weirdest, Wildest Seafood - Percebes (Gooseneck Barnacles)

By Russell Maddicks

I've eaten roast cuy (guinea pig) in the Andes, and barbecued chontacuro (palm grubs) in the Amazon, but percebes or gooseneck barnacles from the coast of ManabĂ­ Province in Ecuador have to be one of the strangest seafoods I've ever had to tackle.

In Spain, these rare stalked crustaceans can command prices of around 100 euros a plate, and poor Galician fishermen risk their lives to collect them in the breakers that crash onto the rocky coast.

The last time I was In Ecuador the percebes were thrown in for free with an amazing ceviche of shrimp, with concha peluda (black mangrove cockles) and pepino del mar (sea cucumber), served with chifles (crispy plantain chips), canguil (popcorn) and an ice cold Pilsener beer.

Total cost of the meal? $10

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