Food & Drink Information

Percebes and Cracus (Picoroco)

Alongside the Cape Verde national dish of Cachupa, two of my other favourite dishes of Percebes and Cracus. The best place to try these delicacies here on Sal is the Barracuda Restaurant, located on the beach to the east of the pier, the What3Words location notices.womanly.emulating will take you straight there. The first time I tasted Percebes and Cracus was at the Barracuda after the fisherman had just delivered his fresh catch and is always a treat each time I visit the island.

Percebes

Also known as Goose Barnacles and reaching prices of 300 Euro a kilo around the Galician area of Spain, I was intrigued to see Percebes for sale here on Sal as I recalled the Gordon Ramsey’s TV programme, stating that they are three times more expensive than fresh lobster in Spain. In the programme he tries to harvest from vertical cliff faces where the waves crash alongside. This is a dangerous job but here in Cape Verde, they are not so expensive and certainly delicious accompanied a bottle of local Châ do Fogo wine.

How To Eat Percebes

Serve the cooked percebes with a squeeze of lemon and nothing more. Holding the hard shell as a handle, twist and pull the meat out from the tube of the body. I tend to find a half twist to make a crack and then bend to snap the hard cover works well as sometimes the head can come off, leaving the meat inside. Simply eat the bright coral-colored meat in one or two bite, each being tender and chewy.

What Do Percebes Taste Like

Boiled in sea water or fresh water with salt added, they will have a salty but not overwhelming salty taste, very much as the sea itself. A similar in texture to octopus or the neck of the soft shell clam.

Cracus

Cracus, known as the Giant Barnacle or Picoroco in Spanish, Wikipedia stating that Austromegabalanus Psittacus is a species of large barnacle native to the coasts of Chile and southern Peru. The meat is highly prized ingredient of the traditional Chilean dish of Curanto. The animal lives in a shell that looks like a miniature volcano.

How To Eat Cracus

I have read different ways to cook Cracus including the Chilean Curanto stew, BBQing with a few drops of wine in the cavity, steamed or boiled. At Barracuda, they are boiled. As part or your cutlery assortment, what can be described as a hooked knitting needle and some surgical cutter is provided. Holding the Cracus in one hand, break the shell with the cutter to expose the fleshy meat and what looks like a beak. Using the hooked needle, extract the beak and attached edible part is attached to it.

What Do Cracus Taste Like

A tougher texture but similar taste of oyster. Again, a bottle of Cha do Fogo does not go amiss! Some people say scallops or crab. There’s a lot of work to expose the meat, of which there is not much. But it’s delicious.

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