Seasonal sea urchins from Scotland are available from the Orkney Rose stall in London's Borough Market.
The Orkney urchins are known as scarrimans heid (meaning street child with unruly, spiky hair) and are much larger than their Mediterranean or South Pacific relatives, being grapefruit-sized with short white spines. Only the sweet, fragrant, orange-coloured roe (known as coral and reputed to be an aphrodisiac) is eaten.
The urchins are sold live for £5.50 per kg, which typically contains four urchins.
To prepare, you cut off the armour, starting from the mouth on the underside, remove the shell and organs and scoop out the roe, which looks like couscous. The roe can be eaten raw, as the Japanese do, sautéed lightly in butter, used to thicken a sauce, or folded into hot pasta. The company website provides recipe for linguine with sea urchin roe, basil, lemon and chilli and sea urchin bruschetta.
To buy it, call 0560 115 5643