Thursday, June 27, 2013

Shrimp, Clams, & Crabs

Just about every day in the season James Barrie Gaskill (simply "James Barrie" to most) has his Fat Boys Seafood truck parked beside Albert Styron's store from 3:00 - 6:30 pm.

 There you can purchase fresh shrimp, clams, and crabs.

Pictured above are James Barrie picking shrimp from his cooler, his son Morty standing in the truck bed, and one of many satisfied customers.

I bought five pounds of shrimp recently; steamed them with "Old Bay" seasoning. With the left-overs I made a delicious shrimp salad:

 Stop by Fat Boy's Seafood Truck for fresh Pamlico Sound shellfish. It can't be beat!

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a photo gallery of past July 4th parade photos. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous9:28 AM

    That sign is charming. What are ciams? Your salad needs a bed of lettuce.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I missed the joke at first. Thought you had just made a typo. But Anon. 9:53 has enlightened me.

  2. Anonymous9:38 AM

    Is this yet another "hidden in plain sight" Ocracoke gem, Philip? I've been visiting the island for many years, but this is the first I've heard of Fat Boy's Seafood, or at least the first time that news of it has registered with me. Been in business a long time? And when you say "in the season," does this mean summer per se, or is there, in fact, a proscribed seafood season (from when to when)? And as for Mr. James Barrie, can you tell a bit more about his business? Is he both the harvester and the purveyor of his goods, or does he perhaps make a daily run up and back in his truck to Oregon Inlet or Manteo for the day's catch. Inquiring minds want to know--as always. :-) Thanks for indulging.

  3. Anonymous9:43 AM

    It was James Barrie that gave me my first clam and told me how to eat it. He even pulled the hot sauce out of his pocket to put on the clam. Always stop at Fat Boy's Seafood stand and get my shrimp and clams!

  4. Anonymous9:53 AM

    If I may, I believe "ciams" are a lowercase class of clams, found only off the coast of Ocracoke. A rare delicacy not to be missed, and available only at Fat Boy's Seafood.

  5. Anonymous11:07 AM

    when does the season end? we will be down the last week of august....

  6. I'll answer all of the above questions in this one comment:

    -- The clams we get in Pamlico Sound are hard clams or quahogs (Mercenaria mercenaria).

    -- The bed of lettuce was added at the time of serving!

    -- James Barrie has been in business for years, parked beside Albert Styron's store "in season" (usually from late spring through early fall).

    -- I believe James Barrie and his son cultivate their own clam beds, but I think they purchase shrimp from commercial shrimpers.

  7. Anonymous2:36 PM

    Anything you can tell us of commercial shrimpers, Philip? To your knowledge, does anyone "shrimp" out of Ocracoke? If not, is there a specific port out of which commercial shrimpers work, someplace like Manteo? And for a fellow like James Barrie to purchase from commercial shrimpers (presuming there are non working out of Ocracoke), is that a transaction that would likely take place in a port, or might folks even buy from shrimpers boat-to-boat, while out on the water? Again, all this is new territory to us here inland. Thanks, as always.

    1. I believe William Nathan Spencer was the last islander to operate a trawl boat (shrimper) out of Ocracoke. However, shrimping still takes place here, but on a smaller scale. Sometimes larger shrimpers come into Silver Lake harbor to sell to the Fish House...or directly to the general public from the boat (at the dock). I think James Barrie buys shrimp from fishermen on the Outer Banks or elsewhere in coastal North Carolina, but ask him yourself to get the right information.

  8. We buy Seafood from Fat Boy's and James Barrie every year we come down. If you're going to have yourself a little cookout or want to steam some shrimp, then IMHO, this is the man to go to; freshest seafood I've ever had! (seafood cooking is something we do... a LOT on the island when we're there...)