Sea Urchin @ Tinos

The sea urchin pictured here are fresh and directly taken from the Aegean, not shipped or preserved, and eaten fresh from under the rocky shores of Tinos. Lovely and delicate yet not overly fruity, they have a sweet and salty embodiment.

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These sea urchin are a variety of small spiny black sea urchin. They are usually between 5cm to 7cm in diameter when mature and the sharp spines are up to 3cm in length.

This urchin is typically found in shallow waters between just below sea level to about 30 metres deep. It attaches itself to rocks and because of its strength of attachment, it is fairly resistant to strong ocean currents. You need to work a little to take them off the rocks, a little force gets them loose.

But if you see the sea urchin in Japan, they look so different. The main reason is the species, and in Japan the sea urchin is red and not black. The shell is not sharp and long spines, they are short.

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The eggs are dramatically different in size depending on the season. The finest you can get are from Hokkaido, and named ‘Ezo-Bafun-Uni’ means ‘horse dung‘ and not for this reason they are very rich in flavour and expensive. (pictured below)

The second more important reason is, the Japanese take the eggs and wash them with Alum, a chemical to harden the eggs and preserve them for shipping.

Hokkaido Areas of Harvest:

Hakodate/Esashi Area
Setana-cho|Okushiri-cho
Niseko/Shakotan/Toya/Noboribetsu Area
Tomari-mura|Shakotan-cho
Sapporo/Otaru/Chitose Area
Wakkanai/Mashike/Rumoi Area
Rishiri-cho|Rishirifuji-cho|Rebun-cho
Kushiro/Nemuro Area
Kushiro-shi|Nemuro-shi

Categories: Life Cycles

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