Eating limpits?

BjornJ

Mors Kochanski
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Hi all,
I was watching a clip with Ray Mears where he eats limpits (halfway through the clip) :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayKMitUKz-g&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Fund a book that seems to have a lot of really good info on sea shore foraging, but it's on the British sea shore.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Collins-Gem-Food-For-Free/dp/0007183038
(Found this on ebay for less than $10 delivered so will get it either way)


Anyone who has any experience with eating limpits in Australia?

Would appreciate any pointers on a good book for sea shore edibles for Australia as well.

Thanks
Bjorn
 

Quinkan

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I used to eat anything silly enough to not run away in the straits, as a kid.

Limpets taste ok but they're very tough leathery things, all that exposed surface area means they're muscly little fuggers.

Try periwinkles. They're basically snails but like the same habitat and in a good spot you can pull a kilo easy enough. Leave em in clean water for a few hours, rinse and boil up til the foot turns whitish and rubbery. Sneak past the hard "door" with a barbless fishhook, paperclip or safety pin. Dunk in soy or chilli sauce and tuck in... Obviously not the shelly door bit outside the foot.

They're tasty and easy to catch.

Limpets from memory taste like cat biscuits smell and are tough as hell. But they're good bait for trevally and snapper if you have em locally.

Not much better to eat than cunjevoi though they're edible too. At least eating them won't kill you.

Usual warnings, stay away from sewage outlets, bla bla.
 

Dutchy357

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One thing I learned from collecting Periwinkles was to try and collect them away from sand. Get them from where they are surrounded by rock. By this I mean high up on the rock not low near the sand. Otherwise they can be gritty little buggers!! Unless of course if you can catch them and hold them for a day or two to purge.
 

Hairyman

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Unless theres a better way to prepare them than what I tried, they are survival food only for me, ..what you eat just before you cook
your leather boots up. I'd much rather sand/mud crabs, fish, squid, pipies, mudwelks, cockels, muscles, periwinkles, etc. preferably cooked.
Small shellfish make great soup.
Yes and watch out where you collect them, away from people , sewage and storm water outlets, industry etc and where people 'walk' there dogs.
... and be familar with your state laws about limits etc.
 

BjornJ

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Thanks guys, will see if I can try some out at some point.

Bjorn
 

Walker

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Unless of course if you can catch them and hold them for a day or two to purge.
Just need to put them in a bucket of fresh water for an hour or so and they should expel most of the grit - same deal with pippies.
 

BjornJ

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Ordered a book by Les Hiddins "The Coral Coast" that sounds like it will be a great add-on to the Food for Free I ordered over the weekend.
Never bought as much on ebay as the last month or so :)
Canteen cup with cup and stand, two Les Hiddins books, 'Fog of War', emergency sleeping bag to test out as underquilt for my WBBB, etc etc.
 

Lifecraft

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I've been wanting to try limpets. There's lots of them on the rocks about 5-10 minutes from here. A lot easier to catch/collect than the crabs that are down there (which I had a hard time catching just for bait).

Limpets taste ok but they're very tough leathery things
Are they similar consistency to calamari? That's the impression I have but I've not tried them yet.

Limpets from memory taste like cat biscuits smell and are tough as hell.
You said they taste ok... but this comment doesn't give me hope haha.
I don't have a cat.... so do you mean they just taste a little bit "seafoody"? In a bad way? Or more like calamari and fish where if prepared right it's actually ok?

Unless theres a better way to prepare them than what I tried, they are survival food only for me
How did you prepare them?

Thanks guys, will see if I can try some out at some point.
Have you had the chance to try them yet?
How did you (or are you planning to) prepare them?


I'd like to try the way I saw Ray Mears do it.... put them on rocks and put the rocks in the fire but, including in this thread, I've heard some bad reviews of them.
Thinking I'll try a more "chefy" approach for the first time, because first impressions last.

I've read though that they're often fried with butter, onions, and garlic, and apparently if done right they're meant to be pretty good.

So are they all that bad? Or are we just unfamiliar with how to prepare them so they taste good and have a good texture?

A lot of ingredients, if not prepared well, aren't that great. Calamari is one example. If you don't cook it right it has no flavor and it's basically chewy leather. But cook it right and it's awesome (home made calamari rings and "chilli, salt and pepper" squid are two my favorite dishes).

There's a rule I've heard in cooking for certain ingredients "cook it for 30 seconds or 3 hours" (or something to that effect), meaning you either cook them really rapidly, or you cook them until they soften up, and anywhere in between they're likely to be tough.

Has anyone figured out how to cook them properly?
Or is there no proper way, and are they really as bad as some people say?

I'm thinking I might try purging them, then crumbing them, then frying them like calamari.... so the unfamiliar flavor and texture isn't overpowering. Then possibly try the hot rocks approach if I start to like them.

Ray Mears seemed to like them. I wonder if he was putting it on for the show, or whether it just knows how to cook them right, or maybe he just likes seafood a lot.

I'd like to hear from someone who likes them and knows how to prepare them. Anyone?

Edit (to add):

"They are chewy but pleasant - if you like calamari, you'll like limpets."
http://www.answers.com/Q/Are_limpets_edible

Sounds like I might be able to make them taste good, if I crumb or "chilli, salt and pepper" them dusted in corn flour. I might need to take some lemon, or a home made zingy mayo/tartare sauce if I really want a good meal (calamari often needs something like that).
 
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D

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Hi Lifecraft, this is the way I see it. I have eaten them many times, mostly cooked in coals, upside down, in their own juice. And a couple of times slow cooked in a stew. I think that they taste completely fine, classic shellfish type flavour if a little more fishy. The texture is another thing. They seem to be very chewy any way that you cook them. This, I think comes down to the type of muscle in their foot. It has to be very strong and robust to cling onto the rocks and if you try to get them off you can see just how strong. I have to confess that when I cooked them in a stew it was probably on for just over a hour. More time might have done the trick though. I know that large octopus can be rendered tender when cooked slow and low.

If you end up having a positive experience, please let us know as they are such an abundant coastal resource, it would be good to know how to make them more pleasant to eat.

By the way, the slightly flatter shells make a great bearing block for a bow drill, if used with a heat barrier such as a glove.
 

Lifecraft

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I think that they taste completely fine, classic shellfish type flavour if a little more fishy.
Thanks for the response. That makes me a bit more confident about trying them.
I'm not a huge fan of really fishy flavors, but I don't mind most seafood when it's good right, and isn't overpowering (that can be helped using various strategies, even just with a squeeze of lemon).

I can be a bit picky about my food, however I also find I enjoy plenty of stuff many other people wouldn't touch, so I'm not against trying something new and different.

Often I just need to taste something prepared well.... then I'm hooked and I get past that psychological barrier (which I think most of us have to some degree, about eating something unfamiliar).

I think I'll just need to experiment to figure out how to make them not too tough.

They seem to be very chewy any way that you cook them. This, I think comes down to the type of muscle in their foot. It has to be very strong and robust to cling onto the rocks and if you try to get them off you can see just how strong.
That's an interesting point, I hadn't thought about that, even though I've noticed they're almost impossible to get off the rocks once they latch down (I've tried a few for bait, unsuccessfully). Gotta sneak up on them or they apparently feel the vibrations and lock down on the rocks.

The toughness might make them inedible but at least it's not psychologically daunting like the thought of eating something that tastes bad.

They're probably far tougher than calamari I'm thinking. I might need to treat them differently after all.


I might need to finely slice them, or bash them and marinate them in lemon juice like with abalone, or both.
As far as I can tell abalone is a similar kind of "muscle" in the way it latches on to the rocks.
I'll read up on ways to prepare abalone. I've never actually done it myself, but I've eaten some nicely prepared/tenderized freshly caught abalone which was good. I vaguely recall helping to "bash" them tender when I was a kid, but other than that all I know is they were marinated in lemon juice. It was someone else who cooked them up, so I don't really know what they did.

I've brought up limpets with my sister (who is a chef) but she's never cooked them so she can't offer much advice.

I might need to get some, cook them for her, and say "ok.... how do we make these taste/chew better?"

If I figure it out I'll try to let everyone know.
 
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koalaboi

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Purging shellfish of sand.

I have tried many ways of doing this in the past and have discovered that putting them in fresh water doesn't really work all that well.

The best method is to keep them alive in clean sea water overnight...either change water often or use a fish tank aerator. Even with an aerator, you may still need to change the water, especially if you have a lot of pippies as it can get pretty dirty. In summer, it pays to keep the water as cool as possible.

A live bait bucket is a good way to go as it has an insert which keeps the pippies off the bottom of the bucket where all the purged material falls.

Pippies purged this way are a treat cooked up in a bit of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, tomatoes and if you like, chilli. Ladle the cooked up mixture over fresh pasta and it's a gourmet meal..

KB
 
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D

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That's a good tip koalaboi. We used to get a large bucket of sea water(this is for vongole type clams or cockles) and add a few cups of flour. The theory being that they take in the flour and eject the sand/mud. It's good to know that just the water works.
 

Lifecraft

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The best method is to keep them alive in clean sea water overnight...either change water often or use a fish tank aerator. Even with an aerator, you may still need to change the water, especially if you have a lot of pippies as it can get pretty dirty. In summer, it pays to keep the water as cool as possible.
Ah that's a good tip, thanks. I hadn't really thought about it, but does makes sense that it would work better than fresh water.
 

Lifecraft

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I wonder if they should be tenderize like an abolone ?
Yeah that's what I'm now thinking.
What do you think is the best way to tenderize abalone? Bash it with a hammer (or a stick), slice it finely, and marinate it in some kind of acid like lemon juice?
Pretty sure that's how it was done when I tasted abalone last time. But I have no idea if that's ideal.
It was chewy (it was over a decade ago so my memories are a bit vague) but I do recall thinking it was quite good. I think it was rapidly fried on the BBQ.

I use tobasco and egg to marinate and tenderize calamari, and add flavor (before crumbing them). I wonder if the tobasco might help with abalone and limpets.
 
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RelentlessFoot

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they are no bad at all I just cooked them on a rock while they were stuck to it in the fire, just remove the black bubble on top of the foot afterwards
 

Totumpole

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I've tried limpets before and actually quite enjoyed them. As its already been said - classic shellfish taste, but pretty chewy. Chewy doesn't put me off and I think they tasted just fine. I had cooked them upside down in their own juices for a minute or two - quick to collect and come with their own cooking pot - Ideal!
 

Markie D

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Yeah i have eaten them..... They are not worth bragging about as they are pretty tough, but they taste alright.
You don't even have to cook them tbh.....
 
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