Gift Guide 2019: Searchin’ for Urchins
December 3, 2019
Stephanie Mutz may be the coolest woman in America. When I met her a few months ago in Ojai her hands were stained purple, which makes sense since she is the only female sea urchin diver in the state of California.
The sea urchins she and her partner harvest for their company, Sea Stephanie Fish, are, in my opinion, the best in the world. (Some people prefer sea urchins from Hokkaido, but I’ll take those from Santa Barbara any day of the week.) If you’re lucky enough to live in Southern California, you can eat Stephanie’s astonishingly good uni in many restaurants. Even better, real sea urchin fanatics can purchase them in many places (they’re listed on the website).
If you’re buying whole sea urchins, you’re going to need to open them. Given their sharp spines and prickly exteriors, that’s not easy. Which is where this extremely functional tool comes in. Its only purpose is opening the little creatures up.
Stephanie sold me my sea urchin opener, but it turns out you can buy them on Amazon. And what sea urchin lover wouldn’t be happy to possess one of her very own?
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Sea urchins are invading the kelp beds in California it is an ecological disaster because the starfish that eat the urchins have been driven out by warming water!