West Coast Gooseneck Barnacles

Gooseneck barnacles are so ugly it’s hard to think of them as food. We’ve heard that in Spain and Portugal, percebes can cost up to $200 per kilo at restaurants. If people are spending that much to have them with a glass of Sherry, they must be pretty special.

On a recent trip to the far side of Vancouver Island we spotted some on the rocks at low tide and took the opportunity to see what the fuss was all about.

Hard to believe that inside these dinosaur-like heads and leathery bodies hides incredibly tender flesh with a flavour something like shrimp crossed with scallops.

Click through to see them cooked and served.

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Summer Figs

Kamala clapped her hands loudly, so that the golden bangles tinkled. “Your poetry is very good, brown Samana, and truly there is nothing to lose if I give you a kiss for it.” She drew him to her with her eyes. He put his face against hers, placed his lips against hers, which were like a freshly cut fig.”

Siddhartha (Herman Hesse, 1922)

This passage always comes to mind when Vancouver’s fig trees are heavy with fat fruit in the hot weeks of August. But the simile “like a freshly cut fig ” did not conjure up a very desirable image when I read the passage for the first time as a teenager. At that point I was only familiar with dried, wrinkled brown figs that came threaded onto a loop of straw. It was decades before I first met up with the luscious red interior of a fresh one and finally understood.

We like to poach these summer treats with ginger and cardamom and serve with a scoop of ice cream, or slice thickly for a pizza topping.

This year Aya made some wonderful tarts (click any image to see larger photos):

Click through to see how the pizzas turned out.

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Green Citrus Marmalades

Sudachi are golf ball-sized citrus, prized in Japan for their intense flavour and aroma. You might find a paper-thin slice atop a grilled fish or a curl of rind in a steamed custard.


If you’re lucky, it might be the even-more-fragrant (and expensive) yuzu.

In an brazen attempt to bring down the culture by turning its basic culinary tenets on their head, we decided to make sudachi marmalade.

No-one in the history of Japan has ever done this.

Why would they? It is insane, and not delicious.

We are ill-equipped to judge the sanity of making sudachi marmalade…

…but we can tell you that it is insanely delicious.

Dark, bitter and densely packed with everything good about marmalade, it has the aroma of limes that have been meditating for years on the true nature of citrus.

For our next trick, we decided to make a batch with Key Limes.

Florida was unfazed by this.
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Inclement Weather Leads to Cocktails

Sad Nixon

We thought this broken planter could be a poster for a movie about Richard Nixon and the secret sadness he kept hidden from everyone.

We posted it to a discussion forum a few weeks ago and someone out there on the Internet liked it so much they made this:

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Breakfast Boats