The crab claw. When people are asked “do you like crab”, there is usually an immediate reaction, I love it or hate it. Let’s face it, there are so many variations of crab, without a reference of which type we are referring to, you can’t just assume you know.
A prime example, Alaskan king crab is completely different than Florida stone crab. There is even a difference in flavor and texture between Florida and New England stone crab claws even though they appear so similar. But the most significant distinction of the crab claw is between fresh or decayed. Both are dead, but for how long have they been dead and how were the handled upon death. Walking the Florida beach the other day, I found a beautiful, almost petrified, sun bleached stone crab claw. Instantly, my mouth began to water for the fresh caught, cold on ice, full of flavor and still dripping from the ocean salt water Varietal. These are an average price of 18.00 for a half pound, even in the local restaurants. What to do? Well, there is a secret I discovered several years ago….. There’s the guy!!
The crab claw guy. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11am until sold out a guy (or girl) pull up in a designated parking lot in their white pick-up truck, the open back is full of coolers of iced fresh Florida stone crabs. Some huge, some colossal, some medium large, a variety pack for 8.99 per pound! I’ll take six pound for my family of six, thinking that’s a ton. In my bathing suit after swimming in the ocean on a hot beachy day, I quietly and rhythmically crack the gorgeous claws. Spirting with ocean juice, I try to control how far they spit, but secretly I just love the smell. I crack the shells so all you have is a handle of claw to hold onto while your teeth scrap the luscious flesh.
No work for the eater, just crab. Garlic clarified butter, brandy mustard sauce and fresh lemon wedges are all one needs for the feast. It’s truly so treasured. Getting back to my encounter on the beach with the decomposed claw, “oh what a difference those little distinct details make, especially when we are talking food!”
Question to you is how do you like your crab?