By Neil MacFarquhar
Most Western palates do not deem sea cucumbers — with their big, lumpy, worm-on-steroids appearance — anything close to edible, let alone a delicacy.
But across much of Asia, the creatures are a staple in stir-fry, soups and stews and are so sought after that they are in imminent danger of being over-harvested, according to a report on the sea cucumber trade released Wednesday by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
(It should be noted that sea cucumbers, although they can be pickled, are not cucumbers at all. Rather they are a form of echinoderm along with starfish, sea urchins and sand dollars.)