Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article image'Piure' — Possibly the world’s most outlandish seafood Special

By Igor I. Solar     Oct 28, 2014 in Food
It looks like a bag of blood inside a stone. Some people compare its flavour to that of sea-urchin; others define it as “bitter and soapy,” and its smell as “sweaty underarms.” Loaded with iodine and iron, the taste of piure defies description.
Piure a.k.a. sea-squirts are tunicate shellfish that look like bags of blood inside a stone and tast...
Piure a.k.a. sea-squirts are tunicate shellfish that look like bags of blood inside a stone and taste...different...
Erin
The piure (Pyura chilensis) is a sac-like marine animal with a deep-red flesh. Also known as ascidians or sea squirts, Pyura live in colonies within a protective cover that looks like a rock. The animal feeds through a couple of siphons, one inhalant and the other exhalant, that generate a directional seawater stream from which the animal filters micro-algae and other marine micro-organisms.
Piure inhabits the intertidal and sub-tidal zones, up to a depth of 70 meters, along the coast of Chile and Peru, between latitudes 10 and 44 ° S. The species is considered a marine resource of economic importance due to its harvesting by artisanal fishermen. It is also of ecological significance for its association with other species that use it as a substrate. Additionally, they are part of the diet of some molluscs and fish.
In Chile, this seafood is removed from its cover known as tunic or "peña" (rock) and sold fresh or dehydrated. The meat is served raw, cut into small pieces, seasoned with finely chopped onion, coriander and lemon juice. It is also served cooked, sliced and boiled, usually with rice or in combination with other seafood in a preparation known as "Paila Marina" which includes pieces of fish, mussels, clams, scallops and barnacles (picoroco or giant barnacle).
Strings of dehydrated piure sold at a market in Puerto Montt  Chile. Other dry and smoked shellfish ...
Strings of dehydrated piure sold at a market in Puerto Montt, Chile. Other dry and smoked shellfish (mussels and clams) are also available.
Strings of dehydrated piure (center) sold at a market in Puerto Montt  Chile. Shallots and large gar...
Strings of dehydrated piure (center) sold at a market in Puerto Montt, Chile. Shallots and large garlic cloves from Chiloé Island are shown in the foreground. The strings at the left are smoked clams, and at the right of the picture there are strings of smoked mussels.
The taste of this seafood is practically indescribable. Some people define its flavour as “delicious, similar to that of sea-urchin”; others describe it as “bitter and soapy.” It has a characteristic strong flavor that is attributed to a high content of iodine and iron. Piure’s chemical analysis has also shown high levels of Titanium, a nontoxic bio-compatible metal. According to popular culture, consumption of piure has aphrodisiac effects for which it has been referred to as “the poor man’s Viagra."
Most Chilean Piure is consumed locally, but it is also exported to several countries including Sweden, Japan and USA.
More about Piure, Seafood, Shellfish, ascidian, seasquirt
More news from
Latest News
Top News