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Is sea urchin supposed to taste like poison?

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Is sea urchin supposed to taste like poison?

porker | Dec 18, 2009 04:56 PM

I was at the Grand Central Oyster Bar a couple of years ago. They had advertised "sea urchin just in", so we're thinking it should be something special, plus at $2 each seemed dirt cheap. So we order two to try.
I really like all types of seafood, raw or cooked. I also see Bourdain eating urchin on the boat, just plucked from the sea and lovin it...
So the waitress brings the two urchins on the half shell. They're filled with what looks like muddy water and almost no substance. My buddy and I scoop a bit out with the small spoons.
"Where'd they drag this out from, the Hudson?" Looked like mud-puddle water, but tasted like mercury-infused peroxide. Egad.
OK, maybe I don't like NYC urchins (I'm joking and assume they're taken from good waters).

Fast forward to last week and I'm in a Greek restaurant with the wife. I see a couple of urchins on ice in their fish display. I want to give them another try and order one. Not quite as muddy, and more 'substance', but it tasted WORSE than I remembered.

Should it look like dirt and taste like poison? Is sea urchin an acquired taste, or am I trying the wrong type?

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