Contrary to what many think, ipercebesdo not appear in thelist of seafoodand they are not eithertasty shellfish. Thepercebeit's acrustacean, its scientific name isPollicipes pollicipes. Does anyone believe that ipercebesthey can be seafood because they are sessile animals, that is, unlike other crustaceans, they remain immobile attached to the rocks of the seabed.
From a scientific point of view, ipercebesI'mbarnacles, an infraclass of crustaceans that in the nineteenth century was still confused with theclams. So don't worry: if you thought that thepercebesthey wereseafoodor tasty shellfish, you have stumbled upon a common and not so serious mistake. THEpercebesthey are tasty, yes, but they are shellfish!
THEpercebesthey live along the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North Africa. These are crustaceans in great demand especially in Spain and Portugal. As happened with sturgeons (due to the production of caviar) also ipercebesI'm at risk. Some populations have completely disappeared: over-exploitation has condemned them to a sharp decline. In addition, it is not possible to reproduce a breeding with extreme ease: they are slow-growing crustaceans and have strong ecological requirements.
Given the difficulty in finding thesecrustaceans, thepricesees absurd hangings. The price, in Italy, for thepercebeslarge-sized (therefore richer) can reach 180 euros per kg. Thepriceit increases when demand is high.
In the fish markets of Spain and Portugal, it is possible to come across self-employed fishermen sellingpercebesat 30 euros per kg. In this case, icrustaceansare detached from the sea rock with a piece of substrate and who buys thepercebesends up paying (included in the weight) for a bit of rock!
Theprice, as stated, varies according to size. Those of "size L" are the largest. THEpercebesthey reach a maximum size of 12 cm with a weight of 50 gr. Theprice, here in Italy it is higher because ipercebesthat come to our markets are almost all imported.
Where they live?
THEpercebes they live attached to the rocks, between the Atlantic coasts beaten by the waves. When the currents are strong they become impossible to "fish".
On the Atlantic coast, its southern limit is on the coast of Daker, Senegal and the Cape Verde islands. They also grow in some areas of the Mediterranean, although they are very rare in these waters: they only grow modestly on the Moroccan and Algerian coasts.
In this large geographical area, distribution is not continuous. The growth ofpercebesit is conditioned by environmental conditions and the habitat favored by this species is the one most exposed to storm surges, where strong currents are present. Therefore, the species is absent from the French coasts of the Bay of Biscay, from the coasts of the Basque Country and in the less windy coastal areas of Brittany.
The slow rate of growth, the difficulty in fishing and the difficulty in finding, increase thepriceof these crustaceans.
What is the italian word percebes?
In reality, even in Italy, they are called "percebes ", just like in the places of origin. The Galicians call itpercebes,as well as Spaniards and Moroccans. In Portugal they are called pereves!
If you intend to go fishing for percebes beware of local regulations! Due to the intensive exploitation of these crustaceans (fishing resulting in habitat destruction) in many countries there are strict rules on fishing. In France, the fishing period is about four months a year (from January to March and from September to November) and the maximum to be caught is 3 kg per fisherman. In Galicia, fishing is allowed from November to March. There are also size limits, the percebes should be at least 4cm large to be fished.
Where to buy the percebes?
Where to buy them? There is no shortage of retailers on the web, you can try asking in the fish market in your area. If you are a traveler, France, Portugal and Spain have well-stocked markets. In Spain, the main markets are, from north to south: San Cibrao, Celeiro, Cedeira, Malpica, Corme Porto, Muxia, Aguino, Bueu, Cangas and A Guarda. In these locations, ipercebescan be found at acostfar less. Even less than 25 euros per kg.
Do you like seafood delicacies? Then read our page dedicated to bottarga and sea dates.