Eating Living Urchins.

Over the years I have had the pleasure of befriending quite a few Chinese people and they always get a kick out of my polite attempts to try their food. I have experienced REAL Chinese food in China, trust me, it is a completely different experience then the corner Chinese food us North Americans are used to. I was on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts while filming for Celebrity Cruise Lines. I took my camera to the docks where a group of Chinese acrobats I know from the ship were wading neck deep in the water, holding broom poles with forks taped to the ends. I was too curious not to stop.

The guys did not speak English but they were very excited to show me what they were doing. They found some very pointed sea urchins that looked like little porcupines. They would use the fork-sticks to pluck them from the sea, then proceed to carefully open them up without getting poked to eat the meat inside…alive!

I am not used to eating my seafood while it is still squirming, call me ‘shelltered’ (get it?). They started laughing at me when I frowned with disapproval. They poked an especially spiny one and put it close to my face. “Awww what the heck…” I proclaimed. I opened my mouth and took one in. It was similar to a very salty oyster, I can’t say I liked it, but as I write this I am smiling and rolling my eyes at myself…I’m weird.

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