Avast thar, ye barnacle lubbers!

Allow me to introduce myself: *waves*
*What did you expect? Inspector Tiger of the Yard? Good, I hope so.

Okay, okay… here goes: I live by the beach. I take walks with my dog. I eat food from the ocean. Happy? Let’s move on.

 Driftwood log covered with gooseneck barnacles. Also pictured: the beach dog

Driftwood log covered with gooseneck barnacles. Also pictured: my adorable beach dog

A few days ago on an afternoon walk, I came across a driftwood log absolutely covered in loads and loads of gooseneck barnacles. Met with such a plentiful bounty, I wondered (as I often do of unfamiliar living things): “Can you eat that?”

Fortunately, I had a smart phone and a decent data connection, and in due time I verified that not only were barnacles highly sought after in Spain and Portugal, but have recently become trendy in Canada and Seattle, and were legal to gather with an ordinary shellfish license. So, gather away I did.

I’ve never had barnacles or seen them prepared, but sautéed with butter and garlic is a usually a safe bet for shellfish muscle meat. I briefly considered lemon and paprika, since they are popular in Spain, and rejected it, since I didn’t want to accidentally overwhelm them.

A handful of barnacles

A handful of barnacles

Sauteed Gooseneck Barnacles

~ 1/2 lb of fresh gooseneck barnacles, tips and roots removed, roughly chopped
a pat of butter
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced

  1. Cut off the head and roots of barnacle, roughly chop neck.
  2. 20160713_202715-sm
  3. Melt butter over medium heat, add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add barnacles, saute stirring often until opaque. Serve hot with crusty bread and a green salad.

Tastes a bit like clams. Very nice. Would definitely have this again. Maybe with the paprika and lemon…