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My Oyster has Crabs?

Or Zaops Ostreum to be exact. Having never fixed oysters at home and largely relied on others to open them for me I had no idea what a Zaops Ostreum or oyster crab was or what I should do with them. My initial thought was is this and the other oysters we just smoked safe to eat. Fortunately a quick trip to Wikipedia and I learned that they are fine and with a little additional research I found that they are prized by some more than the oyster.

oysterWHEN the man from the backwoods sent back his oyster stew as unfit to eat because he found a tiny pink oyster crab in it, ordering a beefsteak with onions in its place, he was puzzled at the boisterous laughter of the waiter, and annoyed when he heard the word “hayseed” in the subsequent conversation between waiter and cook.
[FULL ARTICLE] The New York Times November 13, 1913

So in this case I am the “hayseed” – I had no idea that the crab was safe much less a delicacy. It appears the rest of the world has known for perhaps a very long time. I’ve included a picture of Mr. Zaops Ostreum after the jump. Hopefully you will find this information useful if you decide to shuck or in our case smoke your own oysters.

The oysters (and subsequently the crabs) came from Locals Seafood which delivers fresh from the NC Coast. It was our first time ordering from them but I thought the process was simple, the prices were reasonable and the oysters were excellent. I would recommend them and plan to shop with them again.