It’s not often that I am presented with a food or ingredient that is completely foreign to me. I consider myself to be a well-rounded and adventurous eater and I’ve tried a lot of different things in my lifetime. (I lived in Alaska, for crying out loud. We wild game of every shape and size. Have you ever eaten bear chili or moose burgers? I have.)
However, last weekend I was invited to try percebes at Lincoln. I had never even heard of percebes, let alone eaten them. I was intrigued. I’ve never known Jenn Louis to steer me wrong, and if she was excited to prepare and serve percebes, I was excited to eat them.
First off, you might be wondering what on earth I’m talking about. Percebes?!
Let me explain. Percebes - also known as goose barnacles, gooseneck barnacles, or stalked barnacles – are crustaceans that grow on rocks and debris in the ocean. While gooseneck barnacles can be found in Oregon, Jenn and the Lincoln team source the best possible barnacles, which come from British Columbia. And, yes, it should go without saying that percebes are strange and bizarre looking little creatures. While they may be strange to look at, however, percebes are completely and totally delicious.
At Lincoln, percebes are prepared simply and beautifully. The barnacles are quickly poached in boiling water, and are served with lemon wedges and herb and garlic olive oil. The texture is something akin to a clam, but the flavor is more along the lines of fresh shrimp. The texture is chewy, but not overly so. They’re fresh and wonderful and they taste like the sea. They’re honestly unlike anything I’ve ever had.
All of that to say, percebes are a rare and unique ingredient, and I highly encourage you all to pop into Lincoln in the next few weeks and give them a try for yourself. (Lincoln should have percebes on the menu for the next few weekends, depending on availability. You can always call ahead and inquire!)
A huge thank you to Jenn Louis and the Lincoln team for introducing me to a tasty new creature. While my meal was comped, all opinions expressed here are my own.