As I write this, it’s Moeche (sometimes moleche) season in Venice. Moeche are soft shelled crabs, only available for a few weeks in spring and fall when the crabs shed their shells. Moeche is also a town in Spain, but that needn’t concern us here.
The moeche shown here are as captured at the Rialto market in Venice in mid May. They’re alive. In many recipes you whip up some eggs and let the little buggers wallow around in the gloppiness for a couple hours and then, when they’ve absorbed most of the muck they’re in, you dust them with flour and toss them in hot oil. It sounds like torture, but this is food and death is quick. You must rejoice in beauty and tastiness of your sustenance. You must morn the death that gives you life. You must learn to cook things expertly so the sacrifice has meaning.
In any case the end result, as enjoyed at the fine restaurant Vini da Gigio, is shown above. They come at a cost, especially at a restaurant that is always among the top ten in Venice, where six of them set us back 24 euro. Still, if they’re in season you should not miss these little morsels served with lemon and a wedge of Venice’s iconic polenta. This dish is sometimes called moeche col pien.
If you like buying and cooking seafood, Venice offers a wonderful opportunity to rent an apartment with like-minded friends like we did. VRBO lists over 10,000 Veneto, over 3000 Venice Vacation Rentals. We stayed in this Venice Gothic Apartment (this apartment is really in the Conneregio district of Venice, my favorite district, right over the 40 Ladroni restaurant, a good place for reasonably priced Venetian food).