Diner finds pearl in oyster dinner

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — A lucky diner says he happened upon a pearl while eating an oyster dish at a famous New York City restaurant. Rick Antosh ordered his usual at the Grand Central Oyster Bar on Dec. 5 — the $14.75 pan roast, a stew-like dish that includes six oysters.

The 66-year-old said he felt a small object rolling around his mouth after diving into the dish. "For a fraction of a second, there was terror," Antosh said. "Is it a tooth? Is it a filling?"

It turned out to be a peasized pearl. Antosh hasn’t had the prize appraised.

"I've been here 28 years," said Sandy Ingber, the chef. "This is only the second time I've seen this happen. And we sell over 5,000 oysters every day."

The occurrence of natural pearls in oysters is not well understood, but anecdotally it has been estimated at one in 10,000, said Matt Gray, oyster physiologist at University of Maryland.

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