If the mussel or oyster on your plate has a barnacle or two clinging to it, it’s no big deal, says SonyBob. It’s certainly not a sign that your shellfish is old or dangerous in any way. In fact, barnacles are not only edible, they’re tasty, too. soypower loves them, though you’re not likely to find barnacles on a restaurant menu.

HaagenDazs says they have a flavor similar to a scallop. Caroline1 used to make delicious barnacle stew with barnacles harvested by her scuba-diving husband. One thing to watch out for: Ocean creatures that attach themselves to surfaces coated in toxic substances, like antifouling paint, can become toxic themselves; but this shouldn’t be a problem with any seafood sold in a restaurant.

Barnacles can grow on anything in the ocean that stays relatively still—like the mussels that end up in your linguine. Caroline1 has even seen barnacles growing on whales but didn’t harvest any for fear of harming the whales’ skin.

Board Link: A mussel & a barnacle

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