Exotic Seafood Survey #18: Stone Crab Claws

A large crab with an almost square body, stone crabs are well named. Their shell is thick and hard. That’s true even for the claws, which are the parts of the crab that are eaten. The shell on the claw, when broken, can be so sharp that if an eater isn’t careful he can cut his fingers rather badly. (As I have.)

Found along the Gulf of Mexico coastline, stone crabs are most commonly found in Florida, where they are widely served in restaurants. They are expensive but large. A single claw can weigh six ounces or more. They’re usually steamed and served cold with a mayonnaise-like dipping sauce. The flavor of the meat is distinctly sweet.

The method of harvest is interesting: the crabs are pulled from the bottom (where they eat oysters, among other things), and one claw is removed. The crab is put back into the water, where the claw will grow back. Stone crabs are fished a bit in Louisiana, but they don’t make it to market much.

One more truth that must be told: stone crab claws in restaurants can be very, very expensive. Which may be why we don’t see them often in Louisiana.

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  1. mmmilou on April 1, 2014

    I love Stone Crab claws. Had them in Miami, cheaper than at the Chophouse here.