Shore Crab

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Field Notes
Small purple shore crabs are usually easy to find by overturning flat rocks -- larger rocks often harbour larger crabs. Be prepared to act quickly, since crabs will scatter in every direction and waste no time in hiding under another (possibly impregnable) rock. Most people overlook these small crabs as a source of food; the trick is knowing how to use them.

When I'm ready to cook, I pull away the tops of their bodyshells by gripping their legs and pulling upwards on the edge of the shell until it separates, an action that kills them instantly. I wash away the guts and boil the crabs whole as part of my dinner soup. When they are cooked, I remove the legs and claws of the crabs, and also the sections where the legs are attached. I chew these parts whole, sucking out the meat as I carefully grind the shells between my teeth, spitting out the shell fragments. It's not a lot of meat, but when I'm done my taste buds feel like they've had a crab feast and the soup retains some of the crab flavour.