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Stone Crab Season!

Beautiful Florida Stone Crab Claws!
Beautiful Florida Stone Crab Claws!

Winter in Florida brings milder weather, colder Gulf temperatures and Stone Crab season! If you have never tasted Stone Crabs and you happen to be in Florida during the months of October-May, you need to go right out and find a restaurant with Stone Crabs on the menu. You are in for a treat!

Winter in Florida
Winter in Florida

These buttery, sweet delicacies are different than other crustaceans. First thing you need to know, you will not be eating the whole crab. Only the claws of the Stone Crabs are eaten. Florida fisherman who harvest Stone Crabs put out traps which the crabs crawl into. When they harvest the crabs the fishermen pull off only one claw from the crab then they toss them back into the water. This may sound cruel or barbaric but it is actually a sustainable fishing practice. The reason being that crabs grow their claws back! By leaving the crab with one claw, it is able to fend off predators and also get food for itself and this allows the crab to thrive and grow it’s claw back more quickly.

Probably the most well known place to get Stone Crabs in Florida is Joe’s Stone Crab over in Miami. If you are not in Miami but are visiting Anna Maria Island or the gulfcoast you can get great tasting and fresh caught crabs at many beloved local places. Catch some tunes and eat some crabs in the trap yard at Blue Marlin. Or, for a little Cuban flair you could take a drive along the beach to Longboat Key and try some crabs and a 1905 at the famous Cuban restaurant The Columbia. Another option is to buy your own crabs from a local market and serve them at your own home, just make sure you do this outside as they can get messy! A great place to buy fresh locally caught crabs is at Star Fish Market located in the Cortez Fishing village.

Historic Cortez Fishing Village
Historic Cortez Fishing Village

In Florida the Stone Crab claws are usually served with only warm melted butter or a Dijon mustard sauce. These two sauces perfectly compliment the sweet, buttery taste of the crab claws. You will need nut-crackers and a hammer to get the claws open. This is a major part of the fun!

Whatever you opt for you will be so happy you tried this famous Florida delicacy!

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