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annecros

Florida Golden Crab

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OK, here's the deal. I live in South Florida, I love crab (and other seafood) and eat quite a bit. My family loves crab as well.

Stone Crab, expensive and here, very good. They give you one claw, throw the rest of the crab back, then cook and freeze on the boat. Blue Crab? You can even get it live by the half bushel, but still expensive and Blue Crab is a pain to pick.

Golden Crab? What is this Golden Crab you speak of?

Well, turns out in the deep waters (300 to 2,000 feet deep) south of 28 north, there is this close cousin of snow and king crab that has just been hanging around all this time. In the late 80's when nets were banned, well the net fishermen went fishing. And "found" Golden Crab (I'm sure these guys have been a fisherman's treat for some time, and were not just discovered in the 1980s).

More information:

Click here for the down low on the species

OK. So I have heard about them maybe, at the longest, for the last four years. Took them a while to figure out how to harvest them. Then they started popping up on menus here and there. So, what the heck, give it a shot.

So I went shopping. And I bought three of them live.

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$2.69 a pound, what's wrong with this crab? It is hard enough to get decent beef at $2.69 a pound. The same place had medium stone crab claws at $11.99 a pound.

Well, I took three home.

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There is the medium sized one.

Still, surely there must be something wrong with this crab. It must be a "trash fish" it must not be good. You just can't go giving that kind of crab away.

So, I kept it simple. Boiled in Old Bay.

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Rendered lots of fat. Smelled lovely, HEAVY. Real heaft to these suckers. But, how will they net?

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The first back. I was doing a happy dance.

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Split body. Now I am jamming. I know I have a decent crab here in my hand.

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Pick, and eat while you pick. Sweet meat. Tastes like the beach, nothing wrong with this crab.

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After picking, three crab in a 2.5 quart pyrex bowl, three people eating while they are picking. I am going to get at least two casseroles out of this.

I have a new "goto" crab. Easily comparable to stone crab, superior to Blue Crab (I like the taste of Blue Crab but don't like the work), and cheap.

It was a good day.

:biggrin:

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Oh wow! I may get exiled from Maryland for asking this, but does anyone know if these can be purchased anywhere in the DC area?

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I'm going to ask our local fish house about these! They specialize in local products (Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf), with their own boats and crab-picking facility. But, they may be able to get some of these jewels!

If all else fails, I'll have a friend from Hollywood bring me some next time we meet up to run our dogs in Jax (we run for fun, not money)...

Anne, could you post your casserole recipe, please???

Pam

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Oh Sweet Jesus, where have these crabs been all my life? Great find annecros! All parts of it seem to render a substantial amount of meat: the body, front claws, and legs as well. Your description of the taste has my mouth watering. I want to second donk79's request that we need to be able to get these here in the DC area.

Do you think the reason we haven't seen these marketed widely or even where you are in Florida is their appearance? They look lovely to me, but I know that folks in the U.S. sometimes will avoid anything that looks "strange" to them :hmmm: and I'm wondering if the fact that they are a creamy white and tan colored and don't cook up red might be the reason they're not offered more widely?

Thanks for your "discovery." :smile:

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Oh wow!  I may get exiled from Maryland for asking this, but does anyone know if these can be purchased anywhere in the DC area?

I don't know, but I bet Maryland could do some interesting things with them!

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I'm going to ask our local fish house about these!  They specialize in local products (Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf), with their own boats and crab-picking facility.  But, they may be able to get some of these jewels!

If all else fails, I'll have a friend from Hollywood bring me some next time we meet up to run our dogs in Jax (we run for fun, not money)...

Anne, could you post your casserole recipe, please???

Pam

They should be able to get them, I would think. For your friend in Hollywood, I bought these at a place called, ironically enough, Delaware Chicken Farm and Seafood. The chickens are from Delaware, but the seafood is local, and fresh.

Casserole recipe? I am not sure, as I wing it every time. Deviled crab in a casserole dish. It will involve onion, bell pepper, mustard, cream and bread crumbs. Will let you know after I make it!

:biggrin:

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Oh Sweet Jesus, where have these crabs been all my life? Great find annecros! All parts of it seem to render a substantial amount of meat: the body, front claws, and legs as well. Your description of the taste has my mouth watering. I want to second donk79's request that we need to be able to get these here in the DC area.

Do you think the reason we haven't seen these marketed widely or even where you are in Florida is their appearance? They look lovely to me, but I know that folks in the U.S. sometimes will avoid anything that looks "strange" to them :hmmm:  and I'm wondering if the fact that they are a creamy white and tan colored and don't cook up red might be the reason they're not offered more widely?

Thanks for your "discovery." :smile:

Sheesh Diva, evidently they've been crawling around the ocean all this time. They do render a great deal of meat. The texture of the shell also reminds me of snowcrab. Sort of flexible, you know, we used the "toothpaste" method to get the meat out of the legs. The claws were not hard to get into either. Not as hard as lobster or stone crab claws.

If I understand correctly, they were a hard sell for a variety of reasons. As a deep water crab, they stress easily. I mean, honestly, they are snatched up several atmospheres from the depths. Somebody came up with what they call a "condo" trap that they use, and the overhead pully and line configuration is quite dangerous to work around.

I think they are quite attractive as well. Charming young gentlemen, and they are very docile for a crab, and yummy! I prefer crab to lobster anyway, and this is way better fresh than the stone crab claws that have been precooked.

I am in love! :wub:

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Well done you ! I`m glad I have just had supper or I would be raiding the fridge :wink:

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Wow!! Those are some awesome looking crabs. They are on my list for the next time I am in FL (Broward Co). BTW, the website says they ship it too, though shipping is quite expensive.

Anne, do you know if these crabs are seasonal?

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Wow!! Those are some awesome looking crabs. They are on my list for the next time I am in FL (Broward Co). BTW, the website says they ship it too, though shipping is quite expensive.

Anne, do you know if these crabs are seasonal?

They don't seem to be, but I am not positive on that. The information out there on them is spotty at best. I do remember reading that the females (who they don't use commercially) carry a sponge in the Fall (Sept-Dec, I think).

I'll ask the next time I go by there. They are really super nice people, and love to talk about their food.

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Oh Sweet Jesus, where have these crabs been all my life? Great find annecros! All parts of it seem to render a substantial amount of meat: the body, front claws, and legs as well. Your description of the taste has my mouth watering. I want to second donk79's request that we need to be able to get these here in the DC area.

Do you think the reason we haven't seen these marketed widely or even where you are in Florida is their appearance? They look lovely to me, but I know that folks in the U.S. sometimes will avoid anything that looks "strange" to them :hmmm:  and I'm wondering if the fact that they are a creamy white and tan colored and don't cook up red might be the reason they're not offered more widely?

Thanks for your "discovery." :smile:

I suspect the reason they aren't marketed widely is that their harvest is highly regulated. The more you see - the more you can suspect that the harvest is illegal. FWIW - the crabs are deep water crabs found along most of the SE US. Very few vessels have permits to harvest them. And the sale of female crabs is illegal. Robyn

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Oh Sweet Jesus, where have these crabs been all my life? Great find annecros! All parts of it seem to render a substantial amount of meat: the body, front claws, and legs as well. Your description of the taste has my mouth watering. I want to second donk79's request that we need to be able to get these here in the DC area.

Do you think the reason we haven't seen these marketed widely or even where you are in Florida is their appearance? They look lovely to me, but I know that folks in the U.S. sometimes will avoid anything that looks "strange" to them :hmmm:  and I'm wondering if the fact that they are a creamy white and tan colored and don't cook up red might be the reason they're not offered more widely?

Thanks for your "discovery." :smile:

I suspect the reason they aren't marketed widely is that their harvest is highly regulated. The more you see - the more you can suspect that the harvest is illegal. FWIW - the crabs are deep water crabs found along most of the SE US. Very few vessels have permits to harvest them. And the sale of female crabs is illegal. Robyn

Here's a link to the 2004:

SAFE Report

from NOAA.

Here's a link to the South Atlantic Fisheries Management:

Report

concerning management plans for the species.

It appears we will be seeing more of them in the future. They seem to have been relaxing the regs in the past few years.

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Wow, for that price I am going to definately have to seek some of those out. Alas, I seem to be on the wrong coast of Florida (Ft. Myers on the Gulf Coast, exiled from Delaware as it happens no less... and planning to return as soon as this lease runs out in half a year or so, but I digress...).

For that price and that quality of meat, I can't see how one would say no. Plus, after watching the Andrew Zimmern 'Bizzare Foods' episode on Spain and learning that the 'mustard' of the crab (the part you show in your fourth picture) is apparently quite tasty (with bluecrabs we always called them crabgut, and I never had the nerve to try it) it looks like a real treat.

There are a few big seafood shops around here, and while I think they deal mostly with Gulf Coast products, I am going to have to ask them about these crabs.

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Wow, for that price I am going to definately have to seek some of those out.  Alas, I seem to be on the wrong coast of Florida (Ft. Myers on the Gulf Coast, exiled from Delaware as it happens no less... and planning to return as soon as this lease runs out in half a year or so, but I digress...). 

For that price and that quality of meat, I can't see how one would say no.  Plus, after watching the Andrew Zimmern 'Bizzare Foods' episode on Spain and learning that the 'mustard' of the crab (the part you show in your fourth picture) is apparently quite tasty (with bluecrabs we always called them crabgut, and I never had the nerve to try it) it looks like a real treat.

There are a few big seafood shops around here, and while I think they deal mostly with Gulf Coast products, I am going to have to ask them about these crabs.

Let me know if you find them, and you should as they are taken from the southern gulf side of the state as well.

We always called it "crab butter" and my daughter is fond of it. I haven't been able to bring myself to try it though. I'm probably missing out.

I'm still stumped at that price. Stumped in a good way, but stumped. That's the places everyday price for them as well, and there is permanent signage in the store.

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Thanks so much for this. I pass a sign at the local shrimpers every morning (Heckscher Dr near the Jax Zoo) and had noticed they added a sign for Golden Crabs and had no idea what they were. I guess I'll have to try some.

Here's a place in the panhandle that mentions them.

http://www.captanderson.com/about_beach/sp..._goldencrab.htm


Edited by Kayakado (log)

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Thanks so much for this.  I pass a sign at the local shrimpers every morning (Heckscher Dr near the Jax Zoo) and had noticed they added a sign for Golden Crabs and had no idea what they were.  I guess I'll have to try some.

Here's a place in the panhandle that mentions them. 

http://www.captanderson.com/about_beach/sp..._goldencrab.htm

Oh cool Kayakado! So they are available around and about Florida. I suspected as much.

:rolleyes:

If you don't mind, could you let us know what the name of the place is in your area? Price and a report would just be asking too much... :biggrin:

Seriously, I suspect that there might be other's in your area who would like to take a walk on the wild side.

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Thanks so much for this.  I pass a sign at the local shrimpers every morning (Heckscher Dr near the Jax Zoo) and had noticed they added a sign for Golden Crabs and had no idea what they were.  I guess I'll have to try some.

Here's a place in the panhandle that mentions them. 

http://www.captanderson.com/about_beach/sp..._goldencrab.htm

I live in the Jacksonville area too.

Shrimpers generally tend to net close to the surface. Golden crabs are found only in very deep waters. I'd ask where these "Golden Crabs" are coming from. Robyn

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Oh Anne, I wish you would have posted this before we left Hollywood. After a week of restaurant food, I would have loved to fix some crab!!

Oh well, next time.

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Thanks so much for this.  I pass a sign at the local shrimpers every morning (Heckscher Dr near the Jax Zoo) and had noticed they added a sign for Golden Crabs and had no idea what they were.  I guess I'll have to try some.

Here's a place in the panhandle that mentions them. 

http://www.captanderson.com/about_beach/sp..._goldencrab.htm

I live in the Jacksonville area too.

Shrimpers generally tend to net close to the surface. Golden crabs are found only in very deep waters. I'd ask where these "Golden Crabs" are coming from. Robyn

Actually, shrimpers have the overhead pullies and gears that would make it appropriate to pull these traps. And are already stamped to do the work.

Come to think of it, after looking at a shrimp boat or two, I would be surprised if they didn't drop a couple of cages here and there. Then check to see if anything took the bait.


Edited by annecros (log)

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Oh Anne, I wish you would have posted this before we left Hollywood.  After a week of restaurant food, I would have loved to fix some crab!! 

Oh well, next time.

Sorry, too slow for me even! I wish I had ventured into this area a few years ago!

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Thanks so much for this.  I pass a sign at the local shrimpers every morning (Heckscher Dr near the Jax Zoo) and had noticed they added a sign for Golden Crabs and had no idea what they were.  I guess I'll have to try some.

Here's a place in the panhandle that mentions them. 

http://www.captanderson.com/about_beach/sp..._goldencrab.htm

I live in the Jacksonville area too.

Shrimpers generally tend to net close to the surface. Golden crabs are found only in very deep waters. I'd ask where these "Golden Crabs" are coming from. Robyn

Actually, shrimpers have the overhead pullies and gears that would make it appropriate to pull these traps. And are already stamped to do the work.

Come to think of it, after looking at a shrimp boat or two, I would be surprised if they didn't drop a couple of cages here and there. Then check to see if anything took the bait.

I'd give great odds that there's not a shrimp boat here that has a license to put down traps for golden crab. Every place that sells these things is supposed to have a posted license to sell. I'd be very surprised if any shrimp joint near the zoo has such a license. Robyn

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Thanks so much for this.  I pass a sign at the local shrimpers every morning (Heckscher Dr near the Jax Zoo) and had noticed they added a sign for Golden Crabs and had no idea what they were.  I guess I'll have to try some.

Here's a place in the panhandle that mentions them. 

http://www.captanderson.com/about_beach/sp..._goldencrab.htm

I live in the Jacksonville area too.

Shrimpers generally tend to net close to the surface. Golden crabs are found only in very deep waters. I'd ask where these "Golden Crabs" are coming from. Robyn

Actually, shrimpers have the overhead pullies and gears that would make it appropriate to pull these traps. And are already stamped to do the work.

Come to think of it, after looking at a shrimp boat or two, I would be surprised if they didn't drop a couple of cages here and there. Then check to see if anything took the bait.

I'd give great odds that there's not a shrimp boat here that has a license to put down traps for golden crab. Every place that sells these things is supposed to have a posted license to sell. I'd be very surprised if any shrimp joint near the zoo has such a license. Robyn

Why don't you swing by and check them out, if it is not too inconvenient? Then let us know what you discover.

Personally, I would feel very uncomfortable with any retailer who would flagrantly disobey the law in such a manner.

I mean, a sign on the street and all.


Edited by annecros (log)

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I suspect you are kind of unfamiliar with the area near the Jacksonville zoo. It is an industrial/commercial area - and the fish shacks there are kind of rough and tumble. Last thing in the world I'd do is walk into one of them and ask to see a license (unless I was a law enforcement officer). Robyn

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Bump.

Wondering if anyone has found these babies in the South/Southwest Florida markets.

Stone crab season ended on 5/15 and lobster season doesn't open till the middle of August.

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