Goose Barnacles or percebes in Lisbon

For a long time, I said that percebes were not my kind of seafood. I love seafood, good, fresh, delicious seafood, but percebes were not my thing. I was happy about it. Being so expensive, this meant that my wallet liked this indifference of mine to the goose barnacles or dinosaur toes, as they are called in english.

One beautiful day I went to one of my favorite seafood places in Lisbon with some friends and they ordered percebes – something that I would never ordered my self – and oh boy that was amazing. The restaurant, I know, has the best seafood in the world. The percebes were just a wonderful surprise. I fell in love.

Portugal and Spain are the only countries that I know of that love the dinosaur toes. They are expensive because it is dangerous to get them. Around 80 euros a kilogram in restaurants. The people that get them risk their lives. In Portugal, as in Spain, you need to have a license to do the work. In Galicia (Spain), 5 people die on average per year getting the percebes. This risk has to be paid for and the percebes have become a gourmet delicacy, but one that is definitely worth trying.

British chef Gordon Ramsay went to Galicia, in Spain, to understand why they are so expensive and he learnt it the hard way. You can watch the video of the “F Word” show below.

There are several places where you can have percebes in Lisbon, but being such a delicacy, it always depends on the supply of the day. The good news is that we have a Lisbon Seafood Tasting and – depending on availability – we can offer you a great seafood experience, percebes/goose barnacles/dinosaur toes included.

Want to try our Lisbon Seafood Tasting? Send an email to