Moeche are small shell crabs caught in Venice's lagoon. It is a traditional Venetian specialty. Crabs are fried in a batter made of eggs and Parmesan. The dish can be found in the markets and on restaurant menus only for a small period of time every spring, when they loose their hard shells and become soft. Those of spring time are considered to have a better flavor.
These must be bought alive even if it can seem a little bit shocking. Moeche have to be washed under running water, then floured always alive and fried in very hot oil on each side, being cooked for about 3 minutes. It is said they die right away, that is why it is a no sensitive people dish. Their taste is delicious and worth trying it.
But once you taste the soft shell crabs maybe you’ll feel less guilty eating another one.
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Venetian cuisine, en.wikipedia.org
A Spring delight- Moeche!, theveniceexperience.blogspot.com
VENICE COOKING: MOECHE – NAKED CRAB, www.venezia.net