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Gooseneck barnacles? (SEA)

Anyone know where these can be found? I have read of the specimens from Galicia sold in the tin, http://www.saveur.com/article/Our-Fav... , but the current price at the online retailer mentioned is absolutely absurd: $80 per tin.

Google led me to an article in the NY Times from '87 which mentioned a Spanish chef from a now defunct Seattle restaurant who said they could be found in the Pacific Northwest. Are the local ones sold? Can they be freely harvested somewhere?


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  1. I don't think that gooseneck barnacles can ever be "freely" harvested as they usually inhabit treacherous, wave beaten, rocky outcroppings. Hence the exhorbitant price. You'd need a sturdy boat and nerves of steel to avoid being bashed to death on the rocks.

    1. hmmm, way back in the 90's there used to be a mussels farmer in Santa Barbara CA who sold goose neck barnacles at the Hollywood Farmers market. They were growing along with his mussels. But they were so peculiar looking that only terrribly excited Spanish people would buy them and there just weren't enough of those so they stopped bringing them to market. I seem to recall them telling me they were keeping them at home and eatting them.

      Which is a long way of saying that you can probably take a kayak and gather your own from someplace [I believe they ARE listed on the Washington state shellfish license page] or you might try checking with various shellfish farmers who might be able to provide you with them or who might be willing to let you gather them yourselves....maybe that guy at the U-district market on Saturdays?

      Also have you tried asking at Spanish Table if they know of a source?

      good luck. when you find them, be sure to email us all about dinner at your place so we can try them too!

      1. hi my name is coby and my girls name is hallie, we have been living in lincoln city oregon for about 4 months and go to the beach often and we were tide pooling when i saw a mussel with arms so we took it home and found out later on that it was in fact percebs aka,gooseneck barnacles so we have been doing research and found out that these are a delecacy as im sure u already know and we were thinkin about harvesting the delicable things and we are trying to find buyers if you are interested in this buissnes oppertunity or know of a direction to push us your help would be greatly appreciated thank you very much for your time,,,,

        great thanks coby and hallie

        3 Replies
        1. re: cobygeddes

          hi this is coby and hallie again we went out and got pictures just to make sure there were no mistakes here it is....

          thank you for your time

          1. re: cobygeddes

            I’m a frequent visitor to Barcelona, where I got totally addicted to percebes. Although they are available in Spain, they are very expensive because of the difficulty of harvesting them. Here’s an excerpt from an article in the Sunday (London) Times:

            “The English name [goose barnacle] comes from the long, webbed foot with which it clings to cliffs, and which is also the secret of its foodie appeal. As the weather deteriorates and the waves strengthen, this foot gets progressively thicker and juicier. By Christmas, it can be 5cm long and up to 1cm wide; this is the peak time for harvesting. It is also the time when the cliffs and rocks are at their most inaccessible, lashed by Atlantic gales and freezing six-metre waves. The barnacle fishermen, known locally as percebeiros, work in teams of two, one holding a line and manning the boat, the other clambering onto the rocks, cutting a couple of handfuls of the molluscs with a special tool and stuffing them into a net bag tied around his waist before swimming back through the pounding surf to his boat. The whole operation has to be timed to the rhythm of the swells to avoid the men being picked up and slammed back against the sharp edges of the very crop they are attempting to harvest. It’s dangerous work, and every year there are a few casualties - often overenthusiastic amateurs rather than professionals. The latter are allowed to harvest no more than six kilos a day - far more, it is said, than can actually be achieved. Small wonder, then, that percebes cost about £100 per kilo at market.

            Like all true delicacies, they are best cooked simply - by steaming or boiling in seawater to which a few bay leaves have been added. It’s vital that they still have a little bit of rock attached to the foot, to prevent the briny juices from escaping. Traditionally, they stay in the pot no longer than it takes the chef to say the Lord’s Prayer. Eating a bowl of goose barnacles is a job that requires at least two napkins, one of which is fastened around your neck. You grasp the stem and twist sharply, revealing an inner tube that can then be sucked out. If the mollusc is really fresh, it will squirt juice in both directions as you pierce it, requiring the deployment of the second napkin as you dab at your dining companion’s clothing.”

            Needless to say, I’m very excited about your discovery. I’ll think about the commercial opportunity. One potential hurdle would be the fact that, unlike Spaniards, Americans aren’t used to eating percebes, as suggested by Jenn in her post about the mussel farmer from Santa Barbara, California who stopped bringing them to a farmers’ market because of the lack of interest. But maybe there are enough adventurous eaters to provide a limited market. In any event, the next time I’m in your area, I’ll look you up. I, at least, would be more than excited to buy some percebes from you. How would I get in touch with you? One final question: Were there lots of them in the tide pools, or just a few?

          2. re: cobygeddes

            Do you still have them where you are? I would love some. I am driving by OR next week. KwanS

          3. I know this is an old, but it seems to have been active recently, so I thought I'd reply here, both as a reply to the original (in case you're still looking after 2 years...) and to the most recent poster who offered to supply the goosenecks.

            You might try checking with Coastal Rovers (http://coastalrovers.com/), a group of foragers, marine geeks and foodies. I know they are on Twitter, too. They might be able to hook up those looking for goosenecks (like the original poster) and those who can find them (like the latest poster).

            1 Reply
            1. re: paselkin

              Thanks for reviving this thread. I hope that coby finds a avenue for the commercial distribution of his finds so that I might someday taste them.

            2. We are currently actively harversrying the barnacles as of now my phn number is 2507168900 this is a commercial fishery.Our other contact is 2507258838 every barnacle goes through the Canadian food inspection agency's protocols

              7 Replies
              1. re: jimwalton

                Thanks for the info. Where are you? Will try to call tomorrow.

                1. re: KwanS

                  It looks like the business # is a landline in Tofino, BC

                2. re: jimwalton

                  Might you have given me a wrong number? Your first was picked up by a very agreeable lady who knew nothing about barnicles. The second sent me to a fax machine.


                  1. re: jimwalton

                    Jim, I am unable to get in touch with you using either phone. Please check to see if you have given the right number.

                    1. re: jimwalton

                      It was the wrong number 1507253899

                    2. not retail, but they've had them at bar sajor :)

                      9 Replies
                        1. re: KwanS

                          In an odd coincidence with the recent leads on this thread, I actually ate on Saturday some goosenecks that were harvested by someone in a group we were camping with on San Juan Island. I found some of them living in crevices among the shoreline rocks, and while it was a little bit steep and slippery, it was not too hard to access and pick them at low tide. This person checked online the harvesting regulations to ensure compliance.

                          The taste was fascinating: the "foot" tasted like crab while the neck tasted like a clam. We steamed them very quickly, peeled them and dipped them in garlicky oil.

                          1. re: equinoise

                            I know that they are available in the NW. But I had not been able to find out who might sell them. The first nation people on Vancouver Island harvest them now. But the lead phone does not work earlier in this thread.

                            I am glad you had them. This is the time to harvest them. Alter a storm on the west coast of Vancouver island and the others further north, they are washed in growing on drift wood often.

                            Thanks for your note. I am glad you enjoyed them.


                            1. re: equinoise

                              Wow, I'm so envious, Equinoise. I have eaten goose-neck barnacles (percebes) in Spain, where they are hugely expensive but well worth it. The only other place I've had them was once, long ago, at the Alder Wood Bistro in Sequim, but they were not very tasty or well-prepared and didn’t hold a candle to those that I’ve had in Spain. The chef at Alder Wood told me that he got his goose-necks from a local forager whose name I can’t recall offhand, but who, at least back then, apparently sold his foraged foods from time to time at the Port Angeles farmers market. I think you’ve got the answer, which is to discover where to find them and forage them yourself. Here’s a video I found of harvesting goose-necks in Clayoquot Sound, B.C.: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/n...

                              1. re: Tom Armitage

                                Thanks much Tom Armitage. Any body who might have spotted where they are available please let me know. Thanks much to all of you.

                                1. re: Tom Armitage

                                  The phone number to order gooseneck barnacles is2507153899 ask for alex.Albionseafood is our distributer they're number is 18006610071 they are in Vancouver British Columbia Canada

                                  1. re: jimwalton

                                    Thanks Jim. Will check them out in Albion in Richmond.


                                  2. re: Tom Armitage

                                    Evidently they are not only at Bar Sajor but at Gastropod as well.

                                    1. re: Tom Armitage

                                      Hi Tom, No time for foraging this year. But did find a couple of places in Vancouver where they have them weekly. Will order some this week.
                                      Anyone with an outlet in the States? Thanks for your insights. I had them first in Brittany, FR couple of years ago. Loved them.


                              2. Article yesterday in the Seattle Met has a list of restaurants serving them: http://www.seattlemet.com/eat-and-dri...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Brunhilde

                                  Thanks Brunhilde. Will certainly try to visit as I make my way south in a few weeks.