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30/03/2016 3:31 PM IST

Uni Is Gonads. Go Chew On That.

Open wide!

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Have you ever eaten gonads? Well, if you've munched down on some uni, then the answer is yes. 

In culinary terms, must of us understand uni to be the Japanese word for sea urchin. But actually, it's more specific than that -- uni is a sea urchin’s gonads. The gonads, which produce roe (another delicacy that many of us enjoy) are the only edible part of the sea urchin and are often served at sushi restaurants. The delicacy is usually served raw, and its smooth texture and briny, creamy taste makes it quite versatile in the kitchen.

Though it was once only a feature at Japanese haunts, today uni appears on other menus atop pasta, on sandwiches and even as an accompaniment to bone marrow.  

 

Here's how sea urchin looks from the outside ... seems innocent enough (except maybe for all the spikes). 

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Sea urchin, right out of the ocean.

An inside shot. 

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The inside of a sea urchin. 

This is what it looks like when it's ready to be consumed:

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Prepared uni. 
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Prepared uni. 

But doesn't it look like a lot like a human tongue?

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Uni.
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Human tongue. 

Sorry, not sorry.