BARNACLE (MEGABALANUS AZORICUS)

This species is a crustacean that attaches firmly to rocky substrate,  preferring  areas of great hydrodynamics. They build a wall around themselves with a volcano shape for defensive purposes. The vertical distribution of these animals is from 0m down to 10m, but the greatest abundance occurs in the inter-tidal zone.

they are an Azorean endemic species, whose taste is worldwide recognized. The fact that they only exist in Azores, offers this product an excellent marketing advantage.

Somehow similar to “Percebes” in the Portuguese mainland, its capture is extremely dangerous and tiring: in apnea, where the waves burst against the rocks, a gouge and a hammer are used to extract the animal, one by one, from the substrate (often we have to break a piece of volcanic basalt to get the animal). This means that their capture is absolutely dependent on the weather conditions.

Our company treats each “cone” in order to minimize the weight and maximize transportation. All “cones” are opened (to allow access to the eatable part) and algae excess is removed. These operations offer clear advantages to our clients.

We suggest, as in most crustaceans, to boil the product before freezing it.

ABALONE (HALIOTIS TUBERCULATA COCCINEA)

They are mollusks belonging to the Haliotidae Family, living near the inter-tidal zone when adults. They prefer hiding under big rocks during the day, feeding on macro-algae during the night.

This product is recognized by Chefs worldwide. Succulent and tender, they are used as main ingredient in many different recipes. For this reason, it is one of the products that our company pretends to bet on.

“BLACK” LIMPET (PATELLA CANDEI)

No translation exists for “Lapa-mansa”. They are mollusks belonging to the Patellidae family. They live in the inter-tidal zone, where the waves crash against the rocks, feeding on algae between 0m and 10m. These algae, present in the Azorean Waters, are responsible for the characteristic flavor of this species.

It is also interesting point out that the best exemplars are those that inhabit in the northern areas of the Islands, because the predominant tides are from northwest, stimulating their growth and making it difficult to harvest them.

There is an extended closed period between October 1 and April 30.

Their harvest is carried out in apnea in the inter-tidal zone using a modified knife. One by one, the harvester can legally get up to 80kg a day. Only a few licensed professionals can develop this dangerous activity.

It has an excellent consistent meat, although it is more tender than “lapa-brava” (“yellow” Limpet). Usually is less common than the latter, thus they are not sold separately.

Due to their characteristics they are also traditionally used for cooking the “afonso de lapas” recipe and limpet rice.

It is mostly grilled on the plate. We suggest not to overcook it or to cook with high fire, so the texture doesn’t become rubbery. If frozen, it must absolutely unfreeze complete, for the same reasons. Also, we suggest using butter and red pepper past from Azores, due to its properties.

 

 

“YELLOW” LIMPET (PATELLA ASPERA)

No translation exists for “Lapa-Brava”. They are mollusks belonging to the Patellidae family. They live in the inter-tidal zone, where the waves crash against the rocks, feeding on algae between 0m and 10m. These algae, present in the Azorean Waters, are responsible for the characteristic flavor of this species.

It is also interesting point out that the best exemplars are those that inhabit in the northern areas of the Islands, because the predominant tides are from northwest, stimulating their growth and making it difficult to harvest them.

There is an extended closed period between October 1 and April 30.

Their harvest is carried out in apnea in the inter-tidal zone using a modified knife. One by one, the harvester can legally get up to 80kg a day. Only a few licensed professionals can develop this dangerous activity.

Their bright-yellow color and intense flavor make them stand out as an icon of the Azorean Gastronomy, being sought out either internally and abroad (especially among immigrants) where they reach high prices.

It is mostly grilled on the plate. We suggest not to overcook it or to cook with high fire, so the texture doesn’t become rubbery. If frozen, it must absolutely unfreeze complete, for the same reasons. Also, we suggest using butter and red pepper past from Azores, due to its properties.

 

SHORT SPINE SEA URCHIN (SHAERECHINUS GRANULARIS)

These animals are echinoderms, living between 0 and 100m. They may be white, brown or purple.

They are commercialized  from early May to late August. The total weight of the gonads is ranges from 17g to 25g. Their harvesting is exclusively in apnea, a laborious process that is environmentally friendly.

 

MEDITERRANEAN SLIPPER LOBSTER (SCYLLARIDES LATUS)

This species is a crustacean belonging to the Scyllaridae Family. They have nocturnal habits, when they prey on mollusks, living in holes during daytime.  The hard exoskeleton functions simultaneously as an armor and as camouflage.

Reproduction occurs during the summer, when they rise from dephs of about 100m to as little as 3m. Due to this fact, a closed period exists between May 1 and August 31.

They are captured in two ways:

  • In traps

  • In apnea, frequently below 20m and inside caves and holes

Gastronomically, it is unique, and considered an exquisite delicacy, as lobster is. Usually it is boiled or grilled.

SPIDER CRAB (MAJA CAPENSIS)

It is an abundant crustacean that lives from 0m to 50m. The spawning period in during the Autumn and Winter. Thus, the following closed period:

  • Between October 1 and December 31: all captures are prohibited

  • Between  January 1 and March 31 all female with eggs must be returned to the sea

It is very much appreciated locally. It is traditionally boiled.

 

EUROPEAN SPINNY LOBSTER (PALINURUS ELEPHAS)

It is a crustacean that occurs between 0m and 70m, having the spawn period in Autumn and Winter. Thus the following closed period:

  • Between October 1 and December 31: all captures are prohibited

  • Between  January 1 and March 31all female with eggs must be returned to the sea

In Azores their capture is realized with traps.

This species, as the slipper lobster, is of excellence. However, it is more fragile and sensitive during transportation, demanding more attention to all personal involved in the commercialization chain.

EDIBLE CRAB / BROWN CRAB (CANCER PAGURUS LINNAEUS)

It is a species belonging to the Cancridae family. It is described as living from 0m to 60m.

As the spider crab, it is very appreciated in our gastronomy. However, as it is more fleshy, specially the claws, it is commonly used in seafood rice recipes.

COMMON OCTOPUS (OCTOPUS VULGARIS)

They are mollusks that live up to 1-2 years, dying after spawning. They live in rocky sea bottoms, feeding on small mollusks, crustaceans and fish.

Due to its characteristically feeding patterns in Azores (abalones and limpets and slipper lobsters), their taste is consider as much superior as those of the same specie with different origins. They live from 0m to 200m and their capture is undertaken in two ways:

  • Using traps

  • In apnea

For the reasons mentioned above, this product is beginning to sought by Portuguese restaurants in mainland and in USA, by some restaurants.

Traditionally used in rice recipes, stews, salads, roasted or grilled, it will satisfy anyone who appreciates octopus.

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