On Sunday 15th Iain and I drove across the Harbour Bridge and to Manly beach, located just north of the harbour entrance, to watch a surf competition. In fantastically useless form, we arrived 45 seconds before it ended, glimpsing only one surfer on only one small wave. I’m glad we showed up far-too-fashionably late, however, as I didn’t give a monkeys about the competition and certainly didn’t want to be sat on a packed beach for hours on end.
We both vetoed the beach, instead, walking down to the Sydney Harbour National Park at the southern end of Manly. After a cliff top stroll we wandered down to a beach located on the eastern side, at Spring Cove. To my amazement, the whole seabed round the side of the beach was carpeted in large urchins. To my dismay, neither of us had anything that we could use to prise them from their holdings, let alone get in to them. We went home, to do some research in to the legality of taking urchins from a national park beach and promising to come back a few days later armed with the necessary tools should the law not prevent us from doing so.
|delicious golden roe|
I realise most people won’t have tried urchin roe, so what does it taste like? It’s everything a seafood should be, sweet and soft, yet with that addictively distinctive salinity - like sharing an intimate kiss with the ocean. Although I bought knives and a colander, I didn’t quite have the foresight to bring any accompaniments - a bit of sourdough toast and a squeeze of lemon juice would have been delightful, but hey, the urchin roe was salty, sweet and delicious as it was. I’m coming back to Sydney later in the year, urchins will certainly be on the menu.
|a pasta colander is an effective way to clean the roe|