The Crab Slough Oyster: Only In Fall / Winter Outer Banks
Crab slough oysters
Considered by some to be one of the most tasty types of Oysters (really, there are no
bad varieties) the Crab Slough Oyster is an Outer Banks favorite. Said by many to be the perfect combination of sweet to salty, they are instantly recognized by their beaten shells complements of the Atlantic Ocean.
What is a crab slough oyster?
The crab slough oyster is a unique variety of shellfish found in the Pamlico Sound in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Some of the characteristics of the crab slough oyster are where they are found to an uninvited guest that greets the oyster lover when they enjoy this seasonal delicacy.
Where are they found?
They are found at the end of Roanoke Island in a place called, you guessed it, crab slough. This area is known as the Pamlico sound. This area has currents and receives the full fury and impact of the Atlantic Ocean surf. This environment contributes to their size, texture, and characteristics as powerful waves beat on the oyster shells delivering the irregular jagged texture you see when you shuck them.
How are they unique?
• Their shells look beat up and rough
• The shells have a grayish color
• The shells are really really strong
• It has a taste that combines elements of sweet and salty
• You can only get them in the Outer Banks
How do they compare to other oysters?
The shells are rock hard. This makes them very easy to shuck. Also they often have an edible, but uninvited visitor..the Pea Crab.
What is the Pea Crab?
The Pea crab, is a small crab that has found it is easier to steal food out of the oyster than to be out on its own. All well and good until the Pea Crab gets harvested in the Oyster. It is not a parasite or baby crab. It is an adult freeloader off the Oyster. Sort of a shellfish welfare OBX Style.
Can I eat the Pea Crab in my Oyster?
Yes you can. In fact some consider it a delicacy. I have even read it was used in many Colonial era recipes. Who knew. You may also see it referred to as the Oyster crab. But you can eat it. Enjoy!!!
Fun Fact about the Pea Crab and The Slough Oyster
As a freeloader the pea crab eats food first as it enters this bivalve filter feeder. This means that if food is not as plentiful the oyster will be thinner even though the crab is healthy. Talk about a raw deal. It is also a good gauge of the availability of food in the oysters Outer Banks habitat.
Come get Them while Darrells 2 in Nags Head has em
The season for winter shellfish specialties is almost over. Come to Darrells 2 and enjoy Carolina Fisherman fresh oysters. Or get them as a seafood carryout feast for home.