They really do look like dinosaur toes, don’t they? They are actually goose barnacles, called percebes in Spanish, and I have been dying to try them ever since I first heard about them. Why? Well, why the hell not? Recently I heard that one of my favourite seafood tapas bars – La Moneda – has been serving percebes and I asked them if they could let me know the next time they got some in. Turned out that was today! Not the best timing as Peter and I had just stopped off for a couple of tapitas with my familia at Bodeguita Romero – celebrating my shiny new laptop purchase (more on that later!) – and after our second tapa I got a Twitter message from Isidro that the percebes had landed.
So we high-tailed it out of the Bodeguita and headed over to La Moneda, with new laptop slung over shoulder – luckily it was only about a five-minute walk away – and upon arrival a plate of steaming percebes were placed in front of us. My first reaction was “eep! now what?” but Isidro quickly instructed us on how to eat them. You grab them at each end and then give them a sharp twist and a yank, after which the “claw” of the toe pulls away with a delectible morsel of deliciousness dangling off the end of it. What Isidro failed to mention was how squirty they are! At the first twist water shot out everywhere (usually all over me!) and I never did manage to get as clean a severing between claw and toe as Isidro did. But man! These guys are very tasty – not to mention prohibitively expensive! – but Isidro gave me a deal since it was my first time.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?