How to Eat Barnacles

Unless you are a Food Network regular you probably didn’t realize barnacles are edible let alone considered a delicacy in many cultures. Furthermore, you probably (like me) have not been exposed to the proper barnacle eating etiquette.

So imagine my surprise when a waitress brought an overflowing bowl of something very prehistoric out at my cousin’s wedding reception. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve eaten – and even enjoy many “strange foods”. I adore bone marrow and foie gras… Cow tongue? Yes please! Sea urchin, fish stomach, turtle… not terrible. In other words, I was confident as I picked up one of the gnarliest barnacles in the bowl and bit off everything but the shell. There was a pop of salt water followed by what tasted like the love child of Godzilla and a gooey duck… Or as I put it eloquently in my intoxicated state “this tastes like dinosaur d*&!”. The texture was tough and leathery. The taste was… well, it didn’t sit well. It turns out (as I discovered while researching the following morning in my regretful state) that you’re supposed to pinch the shell and peel off the leathery skin to reveal a sweet, pink, lobster-like flesh underneath– which is apparently quite delicious! What you’re not supposed to do is pop the whole thing in your mouth like a handful of movie theater popcorn.

“…tasted like the love child of Godzilla and a gooey duck.”

As I carried on through my morning with the occasional barnacle burp I thought “this barnacle affair is very reminiscent of all life experiences”: They rarely come with instructions… they can be pretty scary.. sometimes you gotta just tear into them teeth first and hope for the best… And even when it goes awry you learn something valuable and grow from the experience.

I’ve been blessed to have many wonderful and life changing experiences this past year. I’ve traveled to new places, eaten spectacular meals, watched some of my dreams come true… (I watched Frodo Baggins DJ for goodness sake!!) You could say I’ve put myself out there, and I can say I have no regrets.

And since we’re on the topic of food I thought I’d take a look back at some of my favorite meals over the past couple of months… Looking at them makes me realize A.) I’m incredibly blessed and B.) Why I’ve gained 10lbs. I’ll tell you a secret though: so worth it!

***99% of these meals were courtesy of my truly incredible boyfriend