But by eating a wide variety of fish and shellfish, you can reduce your overall mercury consumption. He's also written extensively about food for a wide range of publications. It's called an oyster crab, or pea crab, and if you speak Latin it goes by the name Zaops Ostreum. “They’re even better when you shuck the raw oysters, because then the crabs are still alive,” he said in a thick Virginia drawl. A Cornell spokesperson confirmed that the University and Cornell Police are reviewing three bias incidents that took place in Clara Dickson Hall, Court-Kay-Bauer Hall and Appel Commons. So what happened? Only the females infiltrate oysters, as its host oyster filtrates up to 50 gallons of water a day, and they eat what the oysters eat. Pea crabs have a variety of hosts, the most important of which are mollusks. When mussels catch phytoplankton on their gills (as part of the process of filter feeding), pea crabs intercept some of the phytoplankton and eat it themselves. I mentioned to a guy standing next to me that I’d never seen these little crabs before. Ryan Lombardi, vice president of student & campus life, denounced the appearance of three anti-Semitic signs on North Campus and elaborated on the University’s response to the incidents in a statement on Tuesday morning. “They said people were complaining about ’em, but I told ’em there’s nothing I can do, unless you want me to X-ray every oyster.”. Finding a pea crab inside your oyster is like finding a pearl, only better because they are a delicious delicacy you can eat. Sketchy George Washington connections notwithstanding, pea crabs have a rich history and once had a much higher profile. “Different areas have more crabs than others,” he says. The live ones taste similar to the cooked ones I first encountered at the oyster roast—a bit sweet, a bit briny. I have found out that these little crabs are called pea crabs and they are parasites. Need I say: Don't eat raw crabs! Normally they are regular blue crabs - but have just grown too large for their shell. Bunce ships live oysters to restaurants and markets but also has a shucking operation—so he sets aside the crabs for Herman (and also saves a few for himself to feed to his chickens). You can also ask your... Pea crabs are tiny, parasitic crabs. If you encounter some pea crabs, you can try cooking them—a quick stir in the skillet with some butter does nicely, as does Herman’s flash-frying method—or you can just eat them raw. Pea crab in oyster (Photo courtesy of Kathlena Sloan) One time there was a particularly upset customer, so I went out and explained that they’re harmless and also mentioned that George Washington was a great fan of pea crabs.”, That’s right, George Washington. Sometimes we find a little white crab inside the mussel shell. discussion from the Chowhound Home Cooking, Crab food community. “Because mussels only open once they’re fully cooked, there’s no opportunity to inspect for or remove pea crabs before cooking them.”. I have thought about eating one to see what it is like, but I am a little scared to try it. Also, the hard shell of the mussel helps keep pea crabs … 2. So if you prefer oysters from colder North Atlantic waters, as I do, or from the Gulf Coast or the West Coast, you’re unlikely to encounter them. “The mussels we serve have been caught in the waters off Prince Edward Island and immediately vacuum packed and frozen,” Anbinder said. After their babies hatch and become too numerous, the oyster will sorta spit them out. Paul Lukas is a columnist at ESPN.com and the founder and editor of Uni Watch. But Mary Thompson, a research historian at Mount Vernon’s Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, says she’d never even heard of pea crabs, much less of Washington’s supposed fondness for them. For many oyster lovers the thrill of finding the elusive, tiny, pea crabs cohabitating with their beloved bivalve is the pinnacle of eating oysters and many consider it more desirable than the much requited pearl.