Natural Pearls Aren't the Only Surprise Found in Seafood Restaurants

Chefs and line cooks are known to unearth unexpected items within shipments that are more than what they bargained for ― from natural pearls to mysterious oceanic creatures.

The Lobster Trap line cook Brandt Crabbe estimates he shucks about 75,000-100,000 oysters a year, and in seven years of shucking, he has found nearly 15 pearls hidden inside ranging in shape and usually less than a centimeter in size.

Crabbe’s collection features some larger-than-usual pearls. Although he hasn’t had the pearls appraised, he still gets excited about finding one.

I figure those are pretty imperfect so they’re probably not worth very much but maybe I’m totally wrong,” said Crabbe, who has nearly a decade in the industry. “I’ve probably shucked about 800,000 oysters by now, and I’ve worked at another place where I shucked oysters, too.”

Oyster House Brewing Company, on average, shucks nearly 150 dozen of oysters a week and a couple of pearls may be found per box of 100 oysters, owner Billy Klingel said. Spotting a pearl can be as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack ― or more like a sewing pin.

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