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ost people associate them with Asian cuisine and may not even know that you can get native sea urchins in Scotland, growing wild in abundance in sheltered Scottish Bays. Certainly, their spiky appearance may put diners off and they may be unsure how to navigate amongst the spikes to find the delicious creamy roe with a hint of iodine, which is the most delicious part that is eaten. A Scottish seafood chef wants to change all this though, as he is both selling Scottish sea urchins in his fishmongers in Crieff, and the delicacy at his restaurant in Rattray, Blairgowrie. “Our Scottish Sea Urchins, paler in colour and smaller in size than Japanese ones, are already the next big thing down south with the Michelin guys, who have had to find other suppliers of late,” said Willie Little of Littles Restaurant. “They were buying in from abroad – it’s a million pound market – but our Scottish ones are cheaper and fresher. Urchins, which are plentiful here in Scotland and found in sheltered bays and lochs, were a staple food in centuries past. Like most seafood, they are low in calories but rich in protein, making them a food we should try and eat more.”

“I don’t want to see them all end up in London, I want us Scots to be enjoying them”

Profile for The Perthshire Magazine

The Perthshire Magazine December Issue