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Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrus Droebaachiensis)

A type of echinoderm with a globular body enclosed with plates of lime and covered with spines. These are found at low tides on rocks, generally just under the water level, and live in the north west Atlantic and English Channel.

They grow up to 8cm, and can be cut open and the orange flesh eaten raw (with a squeeze of lemon juice), or lightly boiled and eaten like an egg (or indeed added to an omelette) - cooked in this way, the flesh resembles crayfish in flavour.

The most commonly found variety in the Mediterranean is the paracentrotus livdus, - a slightly smaller, but prolific variety, and they are traditionally considered to be restoratives, but this is probably because being salty, they are thirst-provoking - thus encouraging the drinking of water or wine. See 'Echinoderm'

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