Sea Urchins are found in the ocean the world over. They range in size from six to twelve centimeters and come in many different colors. Red, purple, brown, green and black. They are spiny round creatures that live in shallow rocky waters. They move extremely slow on hundreds of tiny tube feet and feed on algae. Their spines range from one to three centimeters in length, and they use these ferocious spines as a protection barrier against predators. These spiny strange creatures are considered an aphrodisiac and in many parts of the world they are in extreme high demand.
In many parts of the world the roe (which are the urchins internal ovaries) are a culinary delicacy. In Japan good roe can cost around $450kg. The edible part of the urchin consists of five orange or reddish lobes that are very soft. Sea Urchins have a very powerful salty taste and a creamy consistency. In the mediterranean these ovaries are often eaten raw, plucked right from the ocean and ripped apart in seconds and eaten. There are many popular Sardinian recipes which call for roe in pastas, stews and appetizers.
These bizarre edible creatures are also very dangerous should you step on one. The pain is severe and can last days if left untreated. Always seek the professional guidance of a doctor before trying any of the points outlined below should you experience this horrible accident. There are many methods of treatment of extracting the spines:
- See a doctor to have the spines removed. It’s going to hurt, there are no lies here. Take prescribed antibiotics.
- Some people choose to leave the spines in.
- An ancient Thai remedy is to put lime juice on the infected area to remove the spines.
- If you find yourself in a secluded area with no means to see a doctor, grab a rock and try to remove the spines yourself.
- Soak feet in hot water for 30-90 minutes which will relieve the pain.
- Apply melted wax to area then peel off to remove the pines.
Sardegna has thousands of unspoilt coastal rocky beaches to play in. Be careful where you step and what looks like a rock hiding in the shallow waters could very well be a Sea Urchin. Know your sea and what lives in it.