new jersey

Meanwhile in New Jersey: Man Discovers Priceless Pearl in Clam Appetizer (We’ll Have What He’s Having)

If you are what you eat, one New Jersey man could be filthy rich. That’s because, as Michael Spressler recently tucked into clams on the half-shell at The Lobster House Restaurant in Cape May, the diner discovered a pearl that might be worth a lotta dough.

He’s lucky he discovered the jewel before swallowing it along with his go-to appetizer.

“I was down to the 12th one and when I picked it up on the fork it looked kinda heavy, but I didn’t think nothing of it,” Spressler told CBS affiliate KYW-TV (in the most New Jersey way ever). “Then when I started to eat it, I noticed something was in my mouth. I actually thought one of my tooth [sic] broke.”

His wife, Maria Spressler, was equally surprised – and delighted – at the discovery.

“He’s eaten dozens and dozens of clams and we’ve never found anything like that so it was pretty exciting,” she said.

The Lobster House restaurant, which has been family-owned for 100 years, confirms that this kind of occurrence is rare.

“We’ve seen small ones that aren’t really pearls but nothing like this,” owner Keith Laudeman told Today. “People all over the country are calling me.”

But before you start griping about how oysters, not clams, produce pearls, let The Lobster House set you straight: “Both produce pearls. Most common in oysters but clams and mussels too. It’s the bivalve’s reaction to debris or grit,” the restaurant wrote on its Facebook page.

While Spressler believes the 8.8-millimeter pearl could sell for thousands of dollars, the Mrs. isn’t letting go of her almost-eaten souvenir.

“I would like to have it set into a nice piece of jewelry, maybe a mermaid or something nautical,” she said. “It’s a beautiful remembrance of that day and what we have is so special.”

All we gotta say is: we’ll have what he’s having.

Cover Photo: The Lobster House