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Trieste Style Spider Crab

  • 25 minutes
  • Easy
  • Appetizers
The spider crab (granseola in Italian) is typically found along the Italian coasts. The way it is prepared in Trieste is perfect if you are looking for a simple, but flavorful treat.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • ½ onion
  • lemon juice
  • 3 ½ oz breadcrumbs
  • 1 oz butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • parsley to taste
  • 1 spider crab, or 1 lb canned crabmeat


Cook the spider crab in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.
Drain and let cool.

Remove the claws and open them with a nutcracker, removing the meat and placing it in a bowl. Using a knife and a pair of scissors, open the shell of the crab, starting with the underside.

Remove all of the meat, and mix it in the bowl with the claw meat. Then, tear it all into smaller pieces.
Alternatively, you can use canned crabmeat. In this case, drain and break apart.

Finely chop the onion and sauté in butter with the breadcrumbs, parsley, and if you have it, the roe. Remove from the heat and add the juice and the grated peel of the lemon.

Also add the oil, the crabmeat. Stir together and then use as a spread on toasted bread.

Food History

Crabs and crustaceans were considered a delicacy in ancient Rome.
In particular, Apicius, the famous Latin gastronome, described how to cook crustaceans in his book De Re Coquinaria and it seems that he was a real fan.
Legend has it that when he learned that there were extremely large lobsters living along the coast of Libya, he hired a boat and sailed there just to try them. Once he arrived and discovered that the local lobsters were almost identical to those found in Rome, he turned around and came back to Italy without even debarking.

Did you know that...

although crabs can be found almost everywhere, that they are originally from China?

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