Do you know that gooseneck barnacles are a delicacy in Europe? These small crustaceans have a variety of benefits, including being a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
However, there are also some potential side effects to consider before eating them.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the nutritional value and other features of gooseneck barnacles.
So whether you’re looking for an interesting new food to try or just want to learn more about these creatures, read on!
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What are Gooseneck Barnacles?
Gooseneck barnacles are a type of crustacean that is commonly found clinging to rocks and coastline.
This seafood is also known as percebes in Spanish, pilgrim’s-foot in English, and bécune in French.
These strange-looking creatures have long, curved necks that they use to filter food from the water.
Gooseneck barnacles are often considered a nuisance because they can attach themselves to boats and other structures.
However, they are also an important food source for many animals, including whales, seabirds, and fish. In addition, gooseneck barnacles play an important role in the ecosystem by providing homes for other marine creatures.
For example, it is not unusual to find small crabs and shrimp living among the barnacles. Therefore, although they may be considered pests by some, gooseneck barnacles are actually an important part of the marine environment.
What to do with Gooseneck Barnacles?
Gooseneck barnacles can be eaten both cooked and raw. In Europe, they are often boiled or steamed before being eaten as a delicacy.
Some people even compare their taste and texture to lobster or shrimp. In addition to eating them whole, gooseneck barnacles can also be used as an ingredient in dishes such as paella or risotto.
One serving (100 grams) of gooseneck barnacles provides approximately:
- Protein: 17.4g
- Fat: 1.8g
- Carbohydrates: 3.2g
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.6g
- Calcium: 40mg
- Iron: 1.1mg
- Magnesium: 64mg
- Phosphorus: 79mg
- Potassium: 248mg
- Selenium: 4.6mcg
- Zinc: 0.8mg
However, they do have a high sodium content, so it’s important to eat them in moderation if you have high blood pressure or other related health concerns.
The benefits of Gooseneck Barnacles
Gooseneck barnacles are a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, making them beneficial for heart health.
They also contain vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, and vitamin B12.
For those vitamins and minerals, gooseneck barnacles can help support bone health, cell function, and red blood cell production.
In addition, gooseneck barnacles have been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of issues, including inflammation and respiratory problems.
Gooseneck Barnacles taste
Gooseneck barnacles have a mild and slightly sweet taste. Their texture is similar to shrimp or lobster, with firm but tender flesh.
Raw gooseneck barnacles have a slightly sea-like taste, while cooked ones tend to take on the flavors of whatever they are cooked with.
Other similar seafood species include the weakfish and limpets.
Gooseneck barnacles are often compared to octopus or shrimp in taste and texture.
What to eat
Gooseneck barnacles can be eaten whole, including the legs and shell, but some people prefer to only eat the fleshy parts. The legs can also be used for stock or broth.
Many people enjoy gooseneck barnacles boiled or steamed, with a squeeze of lemon or served with garlic butter. They can also be grilled, baked, fried, or added to dishes such as paella or risotto.
Side effects & considerations
Some people may experience allergic reactions when eating gooseneck barnacles. It’s also important to note that these crustaceans can accumulate toxins from their environment, so it’s important to ensure they are harvested from clean waters.
Additionally, gooseneck barnacles have a high sodium content, so they should be eaten in moderation if you have high blood pressure or other related health concerns.
Please consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating this seafood into your diet.
Yes, they can be eaten raw like sashimi or ceviche. However, they are often boiled or steamed before eating.
Gooseneck barnacles can be found in seafood markets and some specialty grocery stores. They may also be available online.
Gooseneck barnacles are considered a sustainable seafood choice as their populations and habitats are stable. However, it’s important to ensure they are harvested from clean waters to avoid any potential toxin accumulation.
Once the hard outer shell is removed, gooseneck barnacles can be cooked in a variety of ways including boiling, steaming, grilling, and sautéing. They can also be used as an ingredient in dishes like paella or risotto.
Gooseneck barnacles are typically harvested during the summer months. However, they can be found year-round in markets as they are often frozen or canned.
No, gooseneck barnacles and goose barnacles (also known as rock barnacles) are not related. They belong to different species and have different appearances and taste profiles.
Goose barnacles are typically larger and have a stronger, more fishy flavor compared to gooseneck barnacles.
Do gooseneck barnacles have a high mercury content?
Gooseneck barnacles do not typically have high levels of mercury. They are considered a low-mercury seafood choice. However, as with all seafood, it’s important to consume in moderation and vary your seafood choices. Consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns about mercury levels in seafood.
Do gooseneck barnacles have any nutritional benefits?
Gooseneck barnacles are a source of protein, vitamins, and minerals including iron, zinc, and calcium. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids that may provide health benefits such as improved heart health. However, they are high in sodium so should be consumed in moderation.
It’s also important to note that gooseneck barnacles can accumulate toxins from their environment, so it’s important to ensure they are harvested from clean waters. Consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating this seafood into your diet.
Barnacles are a great source of protein and other nutrients, making them a healthy food choice. They also have some surprising benefits that you may not know about.
If you’re looking for a new type of seafood to try, gooseneck barnacles should definitely be at the top of your list!
However, it’s important to ensure they are harvested from clean waters and consumed in moderation due to their high sodium content.
Consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating this seafood into your diet. Happy eating!