Friday, March 31, 2017

The Unique World of Sea Urchins

Vice does a wonderful job describing the new “California Gold”. The California Gold is represented by uni. Uni is a golden like substance that is shaped kind of like a tongue. The come from the gonads of sea urchins and have been getting increasingly more popular. It has been hard for Americans to come to eating uni, because “people often disdain seafood that tastes like seafood.”  This article is based around Gary Trumper and his family's passion for the unique delicacy. There is three people in the family that risk their lives to get the sea urchins themselves and understand all of the risks of storms and shipwrecks. In 1987 Tom was lucky enough to escape a shipwreck along with a couple of others crewmates, unfortunately three of his other boating mates lost their lives that night. After going through such a tragedy and still having the passion to go out and get your own sea urchins is something very special.

Now for the taste test. The first time that Maria Finn had eating the exotic uni was at a sushi bar and she had thought it was like something cleaned out of a fish tank. She tried it another time when she was in San Francisco and had actually liked it. Finn then explained her experience eating Gary she said, “ I tilted the cup and the entire piece slithered into my mouth and I took a cautious bite. My life changed.” This just goes to show how someone's passion for something can show through their food. Gary has been doing this for so long he knows where the best tasting uni are found, he later told her that the uni will taste like the things that they eat. The sea urchin will eat just about everything from a soda can to a rocks. The best tasting sea urchins are found in the kelp.

The word about how good the sea urchins got out in the mid 1980’s and has been on an incline ever sense. Back when it all was getting started there were only about 200 divers for the sea urchins, but when “Northern California opened sea urchin harvesting, the number of divers statewide exploded, and by 1987, over 700 divers held permits.” Not two years after the word of sea urchins got out there was over 45 million pounds harvested. Not only were a lot more harvested over 90% off the harvest were being sent overseas to Japan. Since then there has been many regulations like they have to be a certain size and they can not be harvested on some days in the summer. Other regulations are there are only 300 commercial permits given and only around 150 are being used.

I was very surprised by this article. I see these sea urchins every time that i go diving for abalone and I would never have thought that they would be good to eat. Now, knowing that they’re good I might want to try them but I would like to get them for a nice place and not just like a sushi bar for the best experience.

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