Goose Barnacle - Intertidal
[Gooseneck Barnacle, Percebes (Spain, Portugal), Pollicipes polymerus and similar species]
This is the Goose Barnacle of commerce and the plate. They attach to rocks in the intertidal zone with their feathery feet facing away from the waves. They catch food going by in the outflow.
Because they prefer rugged rocky environments with big waves they are dangerous to gather. They are gathered along the Iberian Peninsula (most are eaten in Spain and Portugal) and along the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. and Canada. Gathering them is tightly controled in the Pacific Northwest and licenses are required for posession. Photo © i0122.
More on Barnacles.
Goose Barnacles are often described as tasting much like crab claw. They are simply scrubbed clean with a brush and are then steamed whole (and live), often over a broth of wine and herbs. The skin is peeled from the stem (peduncle) and the stems are eaten with a dip or in soups or chowders. The calcarous "capitulum" containing the body is discarded - nothing there to eat.