THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE OYSTER CRAB

We had purchased a dozen oysters at Best Market on FDB by 118th Street and discovered a rare delicacy that one will not find at any restaurants in modern times.  Tiny oyster crabs used to be highly prized in the early 20th century when oysters were common to the diets of New Yorkers and were quite expensive since only a few can be found at any given time when shucking east coast bivalves.  Some folks just slurp them down raw and others fry them up in a little bit of butter for dish that is not quite like a delicate version of soft shell crab.  Steaming was the option we decided to go for and added a bit Japanese ponzu and chopped chives to round things out.  This was pretty extraordinary so those who are a bit adventuresome with seafood should not throw out the coveted crustacean if one ever comes about finding one.

A New York Times piece from 1913 puts everything into perspective and mentions that only uncouth diners would show disregard for the tiny tidbit from the sea: LINK



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