March 13 we had the opening party for Marari Pearl. The festivities were fantastic; our team is stoked to serve. We are ready for you. Come on over! We have a thing for the pearl, as you will discover. We do serve seafood, primarily, and we set high expectations. However, they should be kept in check relative to the good fortunes of this patron at a restaurant in New England:
“It looked like a miniature Easter egg,” said Harry Morgan, the auction-house appraiser who examined the pearl. “I’ve dug them, cooked them, eaten them, but I didn’t know that quahogs produced pearls.” (See National Geographic’s favorite jewels, from giants to fakes.)
In fact, many salt- and freshwater mollusks, not just oysters, produce pearls. They may be formed in mussels, conchs, cowries, and scallops—to name a few—and come in a rainbow of colors, depending on the species of mollusk.
The giant clam, Tridacna gigas, is responsible for the largest known pearl: the 15-pound Pearl of Allah, which, as it turns out, is a rather ugly concretion that looks like a small brain.
Not all pearls have value—particularly the tooth-cracking kind found in edible species—but occasionally nature will produce a very rare, very precious example. In 2010, Christie’s Dubai sold a walnut-size orange Melo pearl for $722,500. “They are found in the Melo melo marine snails found in the South China Sea and around that region,” noted Rahul Kadakia, international head of Christie’s Jewelry.
“The lavender quahog pearl may not be quite as expensive, but its discovery at a Massachusetts restaurant must have been just as exciting as it was for a diver to find a great pearl deep down in the ocean.”
What exactly is a pearl? It’s “an adaptation to get rid of a piece of schmutz,” explained Paula Mikkelsen, a biologist who studies mollusks and the associate director for science at the Paleontological Research Institution in Ithaca, New York.
The mantle, the fleshy part of the shell, pulls calcium carbonate from the water and layers it around the intruding irritant. Cut a pearl in half and you’ll see concentric layers of the material known as nacre wrapped around a nucleus…
Read the whole article here.