11/08/2011 09:44 am ET Updated Jan 08, 2012

Obscure Shellfish: Barnacles, Geoducks And 10 More Of The Least-Known Varieties (PHOTOS)

So you've already given up your commitment to keeping kosher and gone to the allergy doctor for immunotherapy treatments to get rid of your shellfish allergy. You've tried lobster and mussels, scallops and clams, and are ready for more, for bigger, more insidery challenges. You're ready to move on to the lesser-known varieties of shellfish.

Know, before you embark on the twisty road of obscure shellfish, that you're in good company. Many people have, in recent years, sought alternatives to the few species of marine life that dominate America's kitchens. They have done for many reasons, but two predominate above all: gastronomic adventurousness, which is self-evident for all enthusiastic eaters, and concern for ecological balance. The modern hunger for seafood has led people to overfish many species of fish, leading some to seek delicious, sustainable alternatives in far-flung places. That said, not all the shellfish in our list below are 100% sustainable -- sea urchin, in particular, is often considered overfished. But barnacles, it is safe to say, are fair game.

Click through below to find out all 12 species:

Lesser-Known Shellfish