José Andrés Once Risked His Life For Rare, Tasty Barnacles

It is hard to imagine risking one's life for something as seemingly obsolete as a barnacle. Yet all around the world, that is exactly what happens as fishermen brave the elements to secure tiny morsels of deliciousness to share with the public. Along Spain's jagged, mesmerizing coast, you can find Gooseneck clams, also known as percebes in Spanish. They are considered delicious delicacies worth every ounce of hard work it takes to find them deep in the sea, pressed up against the rigid mountains. The flavor of these tiny little barnacles is equated with tasting the ocean. Some might say they are salty, sweet, and savory simultaneously, the perfect combination. 

But clamming for these rare barnacles is nothing like fishing on a quaint seaside front. It is a hazardous process to gather gooseneck clams. With the ferocious ocean waves crashing along the rocks, most fishermen must wait for a low tide, ideally during the winter months, to safely search for the clams. Gooseneck clams are beloved by many, including Michelin-Star-winning chef José Andrés. Born in Spain, Andrés loves sharing Spanish food's splendors with the world, and these barnacles are no exception.

Gooseneck clams, worth the trouble

José Andrés is a fanatic lover of gooseneck clams. So much so that he even risked his own life to find some of the tasty barnacles one fateful day for his television show, "Made in Spain." One day Andres decided to take a walk on the wild side and join the team of gooseneck divers as they searched the coast of Cabo de Peñas for the elusive barnacles. Andrés shared that as he looked out into the angry, turbulent sea, he feared for his life (via First We Feast). 

The sea was so violent that a crew member had to stay back with a whistle to blow at any moment, letting the divers know they had to evacuate the water immediately. Talk about an intense experience, all in the name of lunch! Andrés explained his newfound appreciation and admiration for the clams and the fishermen who collect them. He told the outlet, "How few fishermen there were, how hard their work was, and how dangerous it could be shed a new light on the people who put their lives at risk every day all in the name of providing food."

Every single day some people put their lives on the line for the sake of food, whether it's fishermen, farmers, or factory workers. Remember, a tremendous amount of effort goes into gathering these delicious creatures, so make sure to enjoy every salty bite.