In search of percebes in Oaxaca

When we were in Huatulco, José had his mind set on finding one kind of marine life: percebes. Known as goose or gooseneck barnacles in English, these crustaceans are filter-feeders. They’re a well-known and widely-consumed shellfish, particularly in Portugal and Spain since they’re commercially harvested off the northern coast of Spain near Galicia.

They’re also imported from Canada, and there’s actually a percebes fishery on West Vancouver Island that operates under sustainability guidelines.

If you go looking for this gourmet delight, though, it’ll cost you. I’ve seen them being sold by a few different gourmet food purveyors on the internet for about $15 USD per ounce, sold in a 5.3 ounce can that holds between 15-20 percebes each. So imagine finding these little barnacles in nature – José said it was like finding gold!

Being that I’m allergic to shellfish, I can’t eat these little guys but I sure did enjoy watching José and his dad scouring the rocks in the ocean in Huatulco looking for them. This photo was taken on the second to last day of our trip and when they spotted the percebes, they were unable to contain their excitement!

Check out this post from Eating With Jack on the proper way to eat percebes.

  • Have you ever eaten percebes?
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