Have you noticed the black-tipped crab claws in Fairway’s seafood department lately? If you’ve walked past these beauties, thinking you’re not in the mood to struggle with your supper, take a few steps back before you miss out on one of the greatest gifts from the sea this season. These specialties are stone crab claws, and they’re only in season each year from mid-October through mid-May. Wild-caught off the coast of Florida, only the crabs’ claws that are two and three-quarter inches in length are harvested (it’s also prohibited to harvest female stone crabs carrying eggs). The live crab is put back in the water, left to grow back its missing claw the next time it molts (outgrows its shell and sheds it). If you’re right-handed, you share something in common with stone crabs. Their larger claw is typically on the right, but you wouldn’t want to go mano-a-mano with this crustacean. This aptly named crusher claw can obliterate up to 19,000 pounds per square inch. Ouch!
With every serving or 4 ounces (114 grams) of stone crab claw meat, you’re getting a good amount of vitamin 6, selenium, and magnesium. It’s also a wonderful source of low-fat protein, providing 17.6 grams of protein per serving, and they actually take no time to prepare, because stone crab claws are sold precooked. That is, they’re boiled right after they’re caught, so the meat doesn’t stick to the shell. Whether you eat them chilled as is, or you heat them up, you won’t be able to get enough of these sweet-tasting claws. Don’t get less than a pound per person, or you’ll find yourself short on food.
Fairway’s own fourth generation founding family member Dan Glickberg suggests trying dipping sauces with your stone crab claw meat, from mustard to melted butter to Fairway’s cocktail sauce. You can even chop the crab meat up and mix it with celery and mayo for a salad, he says.
TELL US: What’s your favorite way to eat stone crab claws?