29 / Kina

Evechinus chloroticus

Kina, popularly known as sea-urchins or sea-eggs, are found at low tide in rock crevices and under ledges. Similar sea-urchins are found in most seas, but the kina is restricted to New Zealand. It is distinguished by its dense covering of long dark-greenish spines, which provide both protection and a means of movement. A spiky hairstyle, mimicking these spines, is known as a ‘kina’. The delicacy within the circular shell, traditionally popular with Māori, is one of the more unusual forms of seafood. The flesh is highly salty with a very disconcerting mucilaginous texture but can be eaten raw, scooped straight from the shell, steamed in a hāngi or roasted over a campfire – some even boast its consumption as a sure-fire cure for a hangover.

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