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Old 10-28-2012, 08:43 AM   #1
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Seafood: wives tales, folklore & facts

It seems that there are many beliefs associated with seafood. Where did they originate and are they in fact true?

My relatives are mostly from the eastern shore of Maryland. Some of the ideas I have, regarding seafood, came from that region. I never thought to question whether or not they were factual. What do you believe and have you ever questioned if there are any basis in fact, regarding that belief.

Some of the ones I have which may be common with everyone:

Never cook a dead crab.
Oysters should only be eaten in months with an "R".
If a clam or mussel doesn't close when handled, its dead.
If a clam or mussel doesn't open when cooked, throw it away.
If the tail of a crawfish doesn't curl when cooked, don't eat it.

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Old 10-28-2012, 10:19 AM   #2
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They oysters thingy is associated with their transport - back in the old days you could only dream of refrigerated transport, so the only time you could get fresh oysters was when the ambient temperature was low. Nowadays it is not really true. I have also heard the same thing about mussels.

The crab, clam and mussel things are all connected to them being dead - if they are dead, they start spoiling, and they do so fast. Eating spoiled seafood can be deadly, so those are good rules to follow ;)
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
If a clam or mussel doesn't open when cooked, throw it away.
Not true. =)
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zereh View Post
Not true. =)
Well, he just opened them and said that they taste okay. Some kinds of bacteria do not alter the flavor and can produce toxins that are active also after boiling, so the safety (not taste) is still disputable in my opinion - and unless real research is done, I think it might be risky. One might not kill you, but it cannot be said what happens if you eat a lot of them.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:37 PM   #5
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Lord knows I have been guilty of defying some FDA guidelines about seafood. 'Course, Mrs Hoot says I got a cast iron belly. Here is a link to what the FDA has to say about selecting, cooking, and storing seafood.
Fresh and Frozen Seafood-- Serving it Safely
Feedin' me is one thing, feeding family and friends is another. It ain't worth any risk where they are concerned.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:53 PM   #6
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Old wives tales are bits of information people cling to despite evidence to the contrary. =)
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:08 PM   #7
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Hi Hoot, thank you for posting that link. I found it very interesting and informative.
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