Inside the Fisterra framework, we define a special kind of business objects, quite similar to Java’s “Enterprise Java Beans”, and we call them “Enterprise Gnome Barnacles”. “Gnome” cause they are heavily based on gobject and Gnome technologies, and “Barnacles” cause Percebes (“barnacles”, more specifically “gooseneck barnacles” in English) are a kind of seefood very popular in the village of Fisterra which gave name to the project.

When I explained this to the 40 people audience at CaFeConf 2006, nobody knew what a barnacle/percebe was! Nobody! So this post is devoted to those who have never seen and/or tried Percebes, for some, one of the tastiest kind of seafood.


16 thoughts on “Percebes”

  1. I first had Percebes 30 years ago in Portugal. Since then I could never find anyone that knew what I was talking about when I discribed them. Today i had a very nice couple from Portugal come into my gallery on Maui and I thought to ask them. I am so happy to now know what they were and a little more about them…..Mahalo Randy Groden

  2. Hola!, yo estuve en la charla de Fisterra y de GNOME, la verdad fueron muy buenas, felicitaciones!

    Fuera de eso me gustaría pedirte que me recomiendes algún libro o tutorial para aprender a programar en GNOME, si es posible con C++.

    Lo de los percebes, realmente aca en Argentina la gente no come muchos mariscos (además había mucha gente del interior del país, me incluyo) así que no debería sorprenderte :P.


  3. I tried percebes last year for the first time in Mexico and liked them. This is a very amazing thing, since people tell me I am a picky eater. The other interesting thing; I can’t stand the taste of shrimp, but I liked percebes. For anyone who is willing to try them, dip them in some hot sauce and you won’t be disappointed.

  4. juanfgs: (más vale responder tarde que nunca), no conozco ningún libro o tutorial que explique programación en C++ con Gnome, aunque es posible que buscando un poco aparezca alguno.

    Los libros más populares sobre Gnome son:
    – Los dos que están aquí citados (ambos muy antiguos):
    – El más actualizado es “The Official GNOME 2 Developer’s Guide”
    By Matthias Warkus (si no recuerdo mal, los ejemplos son todos con C):

    Aquí tienes la documentación disponible (algunas cosas más actualizadas que otras):

    Además, te recomiendo echar un vistazo también a este proyecto de Gnome Hispano:

    Gracias por tus palabras sobre las charlas 🙂

  5. As someone who will try anything once, I was bemused by exactly what I was supposed to do with percebes when I was presented with a plateful for the first (and last?!) time in northern Portugal in 2006.

    I watched how local people ate them before delving in. I hated the first few I tried, but thinking that there may just be a few duff ones on the plate, I had several more.

    Sorry, but they are absolutely awful things to eat!! Being me, I feel sure that I will try them again at some point in the future but, for now, every time I look at my photograph of these creatures I am repelled by them!

  6. I harvest percebes and eat them. They are an exotic very high end seafood obtained at great risk. The taste is mild and depends a great deal on the liquid it is cooked in. Commonly bay leaves are used in the stock, I do not prefer the bay leaf taste personally, it is a European thing. I like straight salted broth, 5-7 minutes and then dipped. Butter, wasabi, soy sauce, hot sauce, cocktail sauce, are good condiments. I also fillet them flat after the parboiling, dip in chilled water, tempura coat and fry them.

    The texture is like a clam the taste is between sweet clam and crab.

  7. Where can I buy fresh percebes?? I live in Greenville, SC and would like to buy them over the internet or find a wholesaler for my local fishmonger. Thank you in advance.

  8. Just back from Barcelona; where for tapas the amazing dragon-footed black-tailed percebes was too interesting on sight to pass up for a taste. It’s a bright burst of brine and wave crashing in your mouth.

  9. Percebes… I think Percebes is what I had some 15 years ago in Cape Town…
    ate them naturelle i suppose… delicious. The others did not want them, so I had a lot, tasting better and better, and I never found them after that.

    Where could I found them now? Is i Barcelona or is it Canada or is it Cap Town??


  11. I have wanted to try these little buggers since being told about them 25years ago and got my wish on a recent visit to Galicia. They are expensive (between 50 – 80 Euros per kilo) but people risk their lives getting them and it is worth the wait & the expense. We got recommended a bar (O Empalme) between Ponteceso and Laxe and it just served fish (no veg, no chips, no salad). I had to guess how to eat them but I think I guessed right – the rubbery sleeve inside the leathery leg (on another website it appears that someone went to a lot of trouble weedling out the bits inside the head which turned out to be the sex organs). Anyway it tasted ok to me and I would eat them again but considering that the whole meal for three of us came to 60 Euros – it is probably a bit of an indulgence to go for percebes at 30 euros per 500 grms.

  12. After some 30 yrs of curiosity about these strangelooking crustations, I had the chance to try them in a pinxos bar in Bilbao. We had spent some lovely days in Rioja Alavesa and spent the last hours strolling round the old quarters of the city before going to the airport and flying home to Sweden. I cannot say that I loved them instantly, but they tasted OK. I had quite a few. My husband tried maybe three little buggers. Four hours later he started vomitting and is still really ill 48 hours later! No more percebes for us!

  13. Just had the most fantastic dinner at probably the best seafood restaurant in all of Spain – O’Pazo in Madrid.

    We were on a tour of the Mediterranean and Spain in search of the best seafood risotto, the best seafood paella and percebes. THE PERCEBES were out of this world. Without a doubt fantastic exceeding all expectations!!


  14. Percebes “gooseneck banrnacles” are abundant in the California coast. The California Percebes are wonderful and you can choose and pick only the fat dark ones. Most low tides are Ok to gather Percebes, if you want to stay dry and out of danfger a minus tide is ideal.
    I discovered PErcebes in POrtugal in the 60’s and have been eating Percebes in California since 1968. Sorry, you have to pick them not available for sale.

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