Some oysters house creepy inhabitants

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/11/12/some-oysters-house-creepy-inhabitants.html

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And very very hard to pick.

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I have found pea crabs in oysters and clams for years in Puget Sound. It never occurred to me to pop the little beasties into my mouth and crunch away. Maybe next time - or maybe not…

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I never gave the cute little buggers a second thought.

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The world is their oyster, or, rather, the oyster is their world.

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The idea of putting either an oyster or a crab in my mouth makes me want to hurl at the best of times. I honestly would rather eat tripe.

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Around the chesapeake these are considered a delicacy. You usually don’t pop them in your mouth live and raw. Though you can. Typically they’re collected up at restaurants and served fried like a bucket of popcorn.

But a point on Blue Point oysters. They don’t exist. Blue Point is a town on The Great South Bay on Long Island. Blue Point is a geographic appellation for oysters, like Wellfleet. And the waters around Blue Point have been closed to shellfishing for decades. Due to low stocks and pollution. Oysters from Bluepoint aren’t currently safe to eat and the last commercial catches of Blue Points took place in the late 60’s or early 70’s.

The farmed oysters sold as Blue Point use the name based on a farm in CT which trademarked the name in the 90’s. They’re raised in the Long Island Sound almost 100 miles from Blue Point. In a brackish estuary rather than a marine bay, from different seed stock not related to the oysters in Blue Point (though same species).

Most oysters sold as Blue Points are just mislabeled, most often cheap wild out of Virginia. Though some retailers just use it as a generic name for C virginica, the eastern species of oysters.

It’s an issue because other oysters from Long Island often have difficulty at market from the impression that “Blue Point is the best” or that you can even get Blue Points.

On top of that the farmed Blue Points tend not to be the best oysters. They’re decent but indistinct. The mislabeled wild oyster are almost always among the blandest, dirtiest oysters on the market.

So it drives the misapprehension that East Coast oysters are shitty, which kinda rat fucks the market for a lot of the small farmers and fishermen operating around here.

Don’t buy Blue Points.

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Some oysters house creepy inhabitants

Yes, those inhabitants are called oysters. Very creepy. Also, to my continuing wonderment, surprisingly tasty. Took me a while to get up the nerve to put one in my mouth. The secret is a quality supplier. And mignonette. Never found a pea crab, but I think they aren’t considered a tasty bonus where I live, so restaurants probably pick 'em out beforehand.

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They’re uncommon in farmed oysters, and more common in warmer waters. You’ll find quite a few in a couple dozen wild Chesapeake or Gulf oysters. You might shuck through dozens of farmed oysters from points further north before finding one.

It’s also considered a sign of freshness. The crabs die after just a few days out of water, the oyster can persist for a couple week if stored properly. So seeing a live crab is a good sign.

Most places will remove them while shucking. Just to avoid creeping out customers. Good places will either leave them in or show you cause it means a healthy, fresh oyster.

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gawd, I do luvs me some shellfish - all kinds! I have eaten Gulf oysters since I was a child, shucked many a bag from Texas to Florida and I feel a bit cheated to have never been treated to a pea crab! oh! and it would definitely have been consumed!

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Is that a typo, or is it guerilla marketing for an expensive perfume featuring a famous actress chowing down on live oysters in an aesthetically challenging manner that we’re supposed to believe is classy and artistic?

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nope. if you ain’t slurping con gusto there is no other aesthetic manner of “chowing down” on oysters. Tabasco only, some folks like lemon - no prob. all that other red sauce mix is a waste used by y’all what don’t even like oysters.
/rant /oyster pedantry

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Ahem. I did say aesthetically challenging. Though granted that properly slurping oysters probably fits that definition for perfume-marketing purposes…

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It’s “a my phone has some sort of grammar check I can’t figure out how to turn off that’ll occasionally swap words well after you typed them”.

Though now that you mention it that is a great business plan.

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Bummer that that the Urbana Oyster Fest was cancelled this year. There’s always Rappahannock Oysters!

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I became recently aware of these from a Japanese food youtuber (who specializes in catch-and-cook videos with local fish).

It looks not crunchy enough, actually. I bet they would be great a little bit fried.

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Why are you using a homphobic slur in your article?

Maybe you need to look up what “bugger” means?

bugger ( plural buggers )

  1. (obsolete) A heretic.
  2. (Britain law) Someone who commits buggery; a sodomite.

The British Sexual Offences Act of 1967 is a buggers ′ charter.

  1. (slang, derogatory, Britain, Australia, New Zealand) A foolish or worthless person or thing; a despicable person.
  • He’s a silly bugger for losing his keys.

The bugger ′s given me the wrong change.

My computer’s being a bit of a bugger .

So you’re stuck out in the woop-woop and the next train back is Thursday next week. Well, that’s a bit of a bugger .

I don’t give a bugger how important you think it is.

I’m a bugger for Welsh cakes.

What is that little bugger up to now?


Words can have more than one meaning…

Eating something alive looks like something from Star Trek.

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