Andalucia Diary – Seasonal Travel Notes

Sea hedgehogs anyone?

Today I took a late afternoon walk in the grey & blustery weather and noticed that the entire stretch of beach was littered with sea urchins, (here called erizos de mar, or hedgehogs of the sea). They were all different colours depending on how long the unfortunate things had been there; purple, green & white. Mediterrean_sea_urchinsJust as the humble hedgehog fears crossing the road, for the erizos de mar, it is the winter tide that is their worst enemy. At this time of year sea urchins are easily harvested and are a delicacy as a fresh and tasty Andalucian tapa.I n Cadiz, the province west of Malaga there is an annual Festival or Carnival, (running now) that also features a huge food festival where everyone tucks onto sea urchins. Their gastronomic status is also valued a little further north up the Mediterrean coast of Spain. The Catalans regularly eat them raw, with olive oil soaked bread, washed down with a glass of rosé. The brainless little sea-sifters are cut in half and one scoops out their sea-smelling flesh with a spoon. Having recounted all this I have not yet been convinced to try it yet!
Every year the catalan town of Palafrugell, on the Costa Brava, has a major gastronomc festival, called La Garoinada, La_garoinada_2007_1
where sea urchins are one of the star attractions
. In fact, the festival is on now, so if you are in Catalonia, pay the town a visit. Whilst there, you may also get  to learn all about their famous Habaneras, or sea shanties, dating back over a hundred years, brought to Spain by Cuban sailors.Estepona_sea_urchins

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Andrew ForbesTravel & Lifestyle Marketing Communications Consultant | Travel Editor Web: Twitter : @andrewaforbes Instagram @andrewaforbes and @luxurynavigatorView all posts by Andrew Forbes »