Are Barnacles Edible?

Are Barnacles Edible?

Goose barnacles, also called percebes, are considered edible and are a very popular delicacy in Spain and Portugal. Fans of this seafood say that it has a sweet and succulent taste similar to lobster. It used to be classified as a mollusk, but it is now classified as a crustacean.

Though they have an unappetizing appearance, barnacles command the highest price among all shellfish. The word "percebe," or "Pollicipes" in Latin, means "thumb," which is a reference to the barnacle's resemblance to a thumb. The shell of a barnacles looks like a human fingernail and encloses the animal's organs, while the peduncle contains the edible portion. Connoisseurs prefer barnacles with short peduncles because they offer the best flavor and texture.