WP designer Brie says get up close and personal with your subject this week.

Percebes at the Festa do Marisco de Vigo

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Percebes are tube-shaped crustaceans that cling to the granite rocks of the storm-bashed Galician coastline. Pollicipes cornucopia, or goose barnacles, are cartoonishly inelegant but fearfully tasty.  Ask Spanish gourmets.

Knife and fork are not required for this impossibly ugly, extremely expensive delicacy. You pinch the foot between your thumb and finger, pull the inner tube out of its scaly case, twist off the claw, and eat the flesh.

Harvesting percebes is hazardous business.  Collectors, called percebeiros, have to maneuver down steep rocks or jump from boats in crashing surf to reach them, risking death. The very best goose barnacles are found on the Costa da Morte — the Coast of Death — in north-west Galicia. Not likely to be confused with the Costa del Sol.

These punks of the crustacean family thrive in violent waters. Watch  daredevil percebeiros torqued to the limit. Click hereHoly percebes!

My first encounter with briny-sweet percebes was in the fishing port of Vigo during the Festa de Percebes. Everyone tucks into mountains of this exotic gourmet gold accompanied by plenty of Albariño, the local white wine.


The best of the sea in a mouthful.

Quite the swashbuckling swallow.



Toni 7/28/15


  1. Hmmmm. Percebes are not in my immediate future, but, I hasten to add, this does not mean never, ever…I love reading about food, especially your spin on such. As someone who thinks of herself as brave and adventuresome, I’m thinking one day me and a bite of said food will have a close encounter. 🙂


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