Air-Flown Fresh Goose Barnacles

An Otherworldly Delicacy

Otherwise known as percebes, the unusual-looking goose barnacles are considered a delicacy and a treat in Galicia—all the more so because harvesting them comes with quite a lot of danger.

What to know
Storage Instructions


The goose barnacle has two parts, the top being its claw-like shell and the bottom being a tube reminiscent of a goose’s neck. It uses this tube—dark, with rubbery-looking skin—to hang onto cliffside rocks. Beneath this skin hides its prized meat.

Briny and somewhat sweet, some people say the meat tastes like a cross between lobster and clam; others claim it tastes somewhat like octopus or scallop. The meat of percebes is plump and juicy and, no matter where you land in the debate about what their intense taste reminds you of, you must admit, they contain the essence of the sea.


It takes all of five minutes to prepare percebes. Place them in a pot of salted mineral water and allow this to come to a boil, so that the shellfish becomes tender. Drain the water and serve immediately, lemon wedges on the side completely optional. You might also steam them with white wine or sauté them in olive oil. The simpler the recipe, the better you will enjoy the natural sea flavor of this curious-shaped mollusk.


Part of the reason percebes are so coveted is the inherent danger in collecting them. Percebeiros in thick wetsuits use crowbars to hack them from the rocky cliffside in the part of the Atlantic called the Costa da Morte, where huge waves crash against the stones. The more violent the waves, the harder the percebes cling to the rocks and, supposedly, the tastier they become. It’s the high price—in all senses for all involved—to be paid for such a delicacy.


This is a pre-ordered item at The Bow Tie Duck and will only be available while the producer from overseas is able to supply and allow air-flown delivery. Because this item is subject to seasonal availability, we require a total minimum quantity of 3kg to be able to ship. If the minimum is not met by our cut-off date, we will have to delay the entire shipment. In case of delivery delays, delivery cancellations, ​“out of stock” notices, or ​“out of season” notices after purchase, you will be contacted by our Support Team. You will receive a refund or product replacement, or you can choose a new delivery date for your item. In choosing to place an order, you agree to the terms and have read that this particular product is not on-hand. After a short wait, you will receive your orders fresh from the source.

Store your fresh shellfish in the fridge, keeping the temperature between 0 to 5°C. Place it in a bowl with ice at the bottom—or if you have the room, place ice in a large bowl, then place the shellfish in a slightly smaller bowl to sit in the large one—and cover everything up with a wet paper towel. To enjoy them at their freshest, please consume them within 48 hours.

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