Uni: The Best Locally-Sourced Aphrodisiac

By Erika Tai James   |   February 11, 2022
Santa Barbara Fish Market’s Spicy Tuna Sushi Heart, topped with Santa Barbara Uni, paired with a Sea Scallop Sushi Rose and Pink Ginger Rose over a bed of seaweed salad and finished with red tobiko

Sea urchin have been a known aphrodisiac in Japan for thousands of years. Uni, as the Japanese call it, rose to popularity in North America in the late twentieth century, with Santa Barbara Uni becoming the most sought-after in the world. Uni has much to offer from a nutritional standpoint, fully loaded with a healthy supply of nutrients that makes this seafood an outstanding aphrodisiac.

It is the gonads of this sea creature that are scooped out of the urchin’s spiny shell in five custard-like, sea buttery golden sections.

Some say it is the distinctive perfume or essence of the sea urchin, slightly briny and almost sweaty, that give it an aphrodisiac association. But most people believe that it’s the simple fact that the edible portion of these creatures is a sexual organ that makes it a food of virility and a very seductive seafood. 


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