Can you eat limpets?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat limpets”. We will further elaborate on the taste of limpets, how to cook limpets, as well as the advantages and side effects of limpets.

Can you eat limpets?

Yes, you can eat limpets. They can be eaten raw or cooked. In fact, in Madeira, there is a proper festival for limpets. These limpets are served in multiple ways, for instance, limpets can be eaten along-with chilli and bay leaves.

The taste of limpets

Limpets have a sweet and savoury taste. They are crunchy. They are strong and can easily adhere to rocks and hard surfaces. The taste of limpets has a close resemblance to the taste of mussels.

The habitat of limpets

Limpets are herbivorous marine snails. They reside along the rocky shores of Western Europe. The reason behind limpets being highly adapted to an amphibious life is that these live in intertidal zones. The intertidal zone is the area present between high tide and low tide sea levels.

What is the nutritional content of limpets

Following are some of the nutrients that can be availed by eating limpets.

  • Protein
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Sulphur
  • Potassium

How to cook limpets?

Following are some of the steps which must be followed while cooking limpets.

  • All the ingredients including limpets, garlic, unsalted butter, Piri Piri sauce and juice are collected.
  • Garlic is chopped with mortar and then pestle is used to crush chopped garlic. After washing the limpets, molluscs are detached by using a knife.
  • Shells are then placed on a grill pan. Garlic, butter and a small quantity of Piri Piri sauce are placed on it.
  • After placing it under the broiler for some time, it is removed just after butter starts melting.
  • Then after sprinkling with lemon juice, it is consumed.

What are the benefits of limpets

Following are some of the benefits that can be availed by eating limpets.

The ecological role of limpets

Limpets are very beneficial as they scrape off and consume bits of plant materials. Limpets glide over algae-covered rocks and logs as these are herbivores.

Contain antioxidants

A lot of antioxidants are present in limpets. The major antioxidant present in limpets is polyphenol. Polyphenol has the potential of improving heart health as it lowers the risk of blood clot formation. Antioxidants also help to enhance learning, memory and slow down ageing.

A good source of protein

Limpets provide an adequate amount of protein. Protein is very essential for the development of tissues. Amino acids present in limpets fulfil the protein demand of our body. It is also very essential for muscle strength.

Helps to maintain cholesterol level

It has been suggested that taking limpets two times per day consecutively for twelve weeks can reduce the level of triglycerides in patients.

What are the disadvantages of limpets

Following are some disadvantages due to which many people avoid eating limpets.   

Stomach problems

Fructans present in limpets can lead to many stomach related problems. These carbohydrates present in limpets also cause bowel-related problems in people.


Due to acid reflux, some people have been reported with heart burning sensation after eating limpets.


Some cases have been reported in which limpets are shown to be poisonous.

Can you eat limpets raw?

Yes, limpets can be eaten raw without any harm. But the most preferred method is to eat them after cooking. To check whether limpets are alive or not, their movement is noted. In case they show a movement means they are still alive.

Interaction of limpets with humans

As limpets are herbivores, they do affect the environment. Though limpets don’t cause any harm to humans. But some cases have been reported in which limpets have been regarded as harmful. 

In case humans kill limpets in large numbers for the sake of consumption, food left for carnivores will be less as these limpets are herbivores. There will be a huge increase in algae levels. This can have some sort of inhibitory effects on the population of plants. 

Plus limpets are also useful to control water conditions in the planted tank so the interaction of humans and limpets cause a great influence on the environment.

What do limpets eat?

Although limpets are herbivores and prefer eating vegetables, some limpets also like to eat young barnacles along with some other things which settle on the home rocks of limpets. Limpets use their strong tooth-like organ known as radula to scrape the surface of the rock.  


In this brief article, we have provided an answer to the question, “Can you eat limpets”. We have further elaborated on the taste of limpets, how to cook limpets, as well as the advantages and side effects of limpets.


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