Notes from the Island Fishmonger

| November 1, 2017

SIESTA KEY’S “SWEET MEAT”

“Two crabs swim into a sand bar. The crustaceans ask, “Do you serve crabs here?”  The sand bartender says, “Of course….we serve everyone.”

Well your local fish markets are now serving crabs to everyone as well. The one and only Florida Stone Crabs are now available as crab season just started on October 15, 2017 and will continue to serve this Gulf Coast delicacy nicknamed “sweet meat” until May 15. 2018.

Here are some super fun facts about Stone Crabs that you might not know.

  • If a crab loses a claw, it will grow back making stones sustainable. (most of us locals do know that.)
  • A crab’s teeth are in its stomach. (I didn’t even know that.)
  • Males grow one larger claw. Its purpose is to impress the female crabs.
  • The largest variety of crab species in a single country is found in the US. Probably the main reason we are the greatest country in the world.
  • Crabs have 10 legs making them bad dancers because of their 5 left feet. Also, they walk and swim sideways so I assume they dance sideways.
  • Crabs are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.
  • Crabs are delicious as their taste reflects their diet of plants, fish and shellfish.

Stone Crabs are a bit scarce this time of year since there are more people in the state of Florida who want to eat them then the crab boat captains can supply. Because of this supply and demand, it makes this particular crab a bit expensive at times. There are only a few places in our surrounding area that you can either buy or be served this Gulf Coast tradition at a reasonable price and on a consistent basis. Local Stone Crab boat captains don’t usually supply the big supermarkets, so you need to know the local spots to go.

Here are some of the only places to find Stone Crabs in our immediate surrounding area during the crab season.

  1. BIG WATER FISH MARKET – SIESTA KEY
  2. WALT’S FISH MARKET – SARASOTA
  3. CAPTAIN EDDIES – VENICE
  4. CRAB & FIN RESTAURANT – ST. ARMANDS CIRCLE
  5. AP BELL – CORTEZ

Life is good when you have Stones on your plate. Time to get crackin’ and enjoy.

Live well….Eat Crab
Scott Dolan
BigWaterFishMarket.com

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