Smitten with Shellfish

Shellfish play an important role in the world economy and in the human diet. This book covers their characteristics, their harvesting and farming, their preparation and eating, and their conservation status.


Shellfish play an important role in the world economy and in the human diet. Shellfish include various species of mollusks (bivalves – oysters, clams, mussels, scallops; cephalopods – squid, cuttlefish, octopus, nautilus; gastropods – abalone, conch, whelks, snails, slugs), crustaceans (lobster, crayfish, crabs, shrimp, prawns, krill, and barnacles), and echinoderms (starfish, sea cucumber, sea urchin, sand dollar, and sea lily). For each of these animals, this book covers their characteristics, their harvesting and farming, their preparation and eating, and their conservation status.


David Ritchey






5.5 x 8.5

Year Published


1 review for Smitten with Shellfish

  1. Philip Van Heusen

    Reviewed By Philip Van Heusen for Readers’ Favorite

    What most people know about shellfish would not even fill a crab cake appetizer dish. However, David Ritchey takes the reader beyond the knowledge of shellfish used for food to a deeper scientific understanding of shellfish. In Smitten with Shellfish, David not only gives an overview of the various types of shellfish—mollusks, crustaceans, and echinoderms—but he also discusses each type with their sub-types. After giving the reader a thorough understanding and description of each type of shellfish, David explains the use of shellfish in cooking. The last part of the book is dedicated to conservation efforts and the need to preserve habitats for shellfish. Shellfish are significantly crucial to our environment and food chain. Damage to this area of our environment will affect all environments. Learn all you can, then take whatever action you can to help preserve nature.

    Jules Verne wrote fiction about giant squids. However, his novel has nothing on a real-life squid caught in 2007. It weighed over half a ton and was 33 feet long. This is just one fact you will discover in David Ritchey’s book, Smitten with Shellfish. The reader will walk away with a new appreciation for shellfish. Shellfish will become more than just food to enjoy. I learned so much about the various types of shellfish, their geographical locations, and how some are farmed for human consumption. The sheer variety of shellfish is astounding. David even pointed out that the plural of octopus is not octopi but is octopuses. Take your time reading and absorbing the information in this book. David makes the scientific classifications of the various shellfish easy for laymen to understand.

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About the Author

After being educated in economics at Yale University, David Ritchey served five years as an officer in the U.S. Navy, including a year in Vietnam. Back in civilian life, he initially became a businessman as he had been trained but, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he dropped out, got a divorce, moved to a remote old stone farmhouse and took up fine art photography as his vocation, winning over 60 awards during the next fifteen years.

During that period, he became fascinated with the psychology and neurology of both creativity and metaphysics and returned to school to train as a psychotherapist. During his fifteen years of clinical practice specializing in hypnotherapy, he undertook a twelve-year project to research and write about such subjects and his first book, The H.I.S.S. of the A.S.P., was published in 2003. Writing proved to be every bit as rewarding as photography and became his primary vocation. Being an inveterate learner, he focused on non-fiction subjects, enjoying the research as much as the writing. His more than forty published works have won over 25 literary awards. His books can be found at and online book stores.

See Books by David Ritchey Here

His avocations have included scuba diving, sailing, skiing, tennis, golf, gardening, woodworking, dogs, magic, bridge, and Scrabble. He has two adult children, Harper and Mac, and one almost-adult grandchild, Brendan. He lives in historic Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and spends most of his time either writing or engaging in stimulating conversations over restaurant meals with close friends.


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