One of the most distinguishing features of the Cadiz Carnival is that it is a street party, which has resulted in the birth of numerous gastronomy events that allow eating in the street for many of the days that this authentic cultural manifestation lasts. The sea urchin, known as el erizos caletero, is one of the most popular foods.
Moreover, Carnival is the best time to try sea urchin, and the most common location for its consumption is near the Mercado de Abastos (also known as “la plaza”), a gathering area where carnivalesque groups, particularly choirs, perform for the general public.
Besides, it is a unique delicacy that attracts both naysayers (many of whom have never eaten it) and devotees, who enjoy it raw with a decent fino or fresh manzanilla and a slice of bread. An experience that entails sampling them in the center of La Caleta beach, which serves as the soul of this historic city.
How to eat it
To eat a urchin, you must first split it in half with a knife, and then consume the crimson meat within. Besides, the sea urchin is usually eaten raw, and it has a strong marine flavor.
La erizá is a gourmet tradition in Cádiz that signal the start of the famed carnival. Traditionally, they have been consumed raw and in large quantities, but restaurants, in addition to carnival clubs, are increasingly providing prepared modalities, such as tempuras or shells loaded with prawns, sea urchin roe, and fish pasta. By the way, when heated, the bristles soften and swell, giving the diner a sense of security.
- fresh sea erizos
- optional: lemon
Instructions for cooking erizos
- We carefully hold them on top of a huge bowl with a thick dishcloth. We grab one and set it on top of the other, mouth up.
- With the tip of a knife or kitchen scissors, we form an incision.
- Because the urchin’s shell is so delicate, we proceed with caution.
- Pour the juices into the bowl and remove the urchin’s mouth. This is thrown away.
- The reddish meat within is removed and placed in a clean bowl. Everything else is thrown away.
- We’ll need to carve something else around the hole if we’re going to utilize the urchin shells for the presentation.
- Then, inside, wash thoroughly and drain upside down.
- We drain the juice through a strainer when they’re all clean.
- We can also serve them in the shells, with the clean meat on top.
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