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hazardnc

Stone Crab Claws

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For the past three years, I have ordered crab claws to celebrate the New Year from Key Fisheries in Marathon. Looking at their site, one can no longer buy anything larger than a medium claw. My husband read somewhere that they sell their large claws to Joe's.

I need a new, reliable source for my jumbo claws. I found some places on the web:

Fresh Choice Seafood

Combs Fish Company

Gamby Shack

I know I can order from Joe's, but I don't think I need to pay for the name brand claws.

Any South Florida locals out there have a suggestion for me?


Edited by hazardnc (log)

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Reviewing the sites you posted, Gamby's seems like the best value.

I wonder about this statement on the Combs' site: "Crabbers harvest both claws of the male and female crab. They are not allowed to harvest egg bearing female crabs. Stone crabs start to regenerate their claws within ninety days."

I was under the impression that they only harvest one claw at a time (I presumed the larger of the two), so that the crab would be left with one claw with which to defend itself.

Hmm, looking at Billy's Fishing Tour, it states, "Adult stone crabs with claws longer than 2 3/4 inches are declawed, egg-bearing females are spared. By law, crabs must be then returned to the sea where they will regenerate new claws in aproximately one year!"

So, does anyone know the deal with this? How do the crabs survive with no claws?

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So, does anyone know the deal with this? How do the crabs survive with no claws?

From the Sarasota Extension website: Florida law takes advantage of this ability of regeneration by making it illegal to harvest whole stone crabs. One or both of the very powerful black-tipped claws may be removed provided the length of the forearm measures 2 3/4 inches. If not, the claw must be left on the crab and the live stone crab returned to the water. If is also unlawful to remove claws from egg-bearing females.

I also thought only one claw was removed in order to leave the crab witrh a form of self defense. Have you ever heard of this place? https://65.38.168.164/~seafoodw/beststonecrabs/order.htm

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For the past three years, I have ordered crab claws to celebrate the New Year from Key Fisheries in Marathon.  Looking at their site, one can no longer buy anything larger than a medium claw.  My husband read somewhere that they sell their large claws to Joe's.

I need a new, reliable source for my jumbo claws.  I found some places on the web:

Fresh Choice Seafood

Combs Fish Company

Gamby Shack

I know I can order from Joe's, but I don't think I need to pay for the name brand claws.

Any South Florida locals out there have a suggestion for me?

Personally, I find the Medium claws to be the best tasting. The Large and the Jumbos, while nice, are expensive just because they are harder to come by, not because they taste any better than the Medium ones.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Personally, I find the Medium claws to be the best tasting. The Large and the Jumbos, while nice, are expensive just because they are harder to come by, not because they taste any better than the Medium ones.

Thanks, Jason. My husband and I have never even tried the mediums - only because we are gluttons! If I stick with mediums, I can still use Keys Fisheries again, but I might try a new place for fun.

Now, who has the best recipe for Key Lime Pie???


Edited by hazardnc (log)

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Personally, I find the Medium claws to be the best tasting. The Large and the Jumbos, while nice, are expensive just because they are harder to come by, not because they taste any better than the Medium ones.

Thanks, Jason. My husband and I have never even tried the mediums - only because we are gluttons! If I stick with mediums, I can still use Keys Fisheries again, but I might try a new place for fun.

Now, who has the best recipe for Key Lime Pie???

Will crabs from elsewhere be much cheaper than Joe's (I suspect more than half the cost will be overnight shipping)? I'm a fan of Joe's simply because the product is dependable - but I doubt you'd be able to order from them for New Year's at this late date.

Were you serious about the pie recipe? If so - I'll give you a good traditional one. The biggest problem I have is finding decent key limes. I used to have a friend in Miami who'd give me a season's worth of local key limes (I'd juice them and freeze the juice for pies). The juice in the bottle isn't as good - neither is the juice from the key limes grown in central America (although the latter is definitely better than the former). I have a Meyer lemon tree - and I tend to use my own lemons instead of key limes these days. Robyn

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Keys fisheries is actually an affiliate of Joe's stone crabs. This is the first year Joe's decided to prohibit keys fisheries to sell anything larger than their selects via mail order. I suppose enough people figured out to buy the exact same stone crabs from keys fisheries that Joe's has sell for a much higher price.

My parents have a place in Marathon and thats how I first found out about them. I'm bummed because I've been buying from keys fisheries for years. I always ordered the large, I thought they were the perfect size with the jumbos being too large for my personal preference.

With the no worry gurantee that keys fisheries stone crabs will be fresh and tasty you might want to give the selects a try. Selects are the in between size of medium and large. I've ordered them this season and although smaller than the large/jumbo they were still great.

In the past I've mail ordered from Joe's, great but imhob too expensive though.

Billys, http://www.stone-crabs.com/billys.html, imho not as good as keys fisheries.

Montys, imho not as good as keys fisheries.

I've never mail ordered but have bought take out from islamorada fish company many times and they were always fantastic also.

This place looks promising although I've never ordered from them:

http://www.keywestseafood.com

Here's a link to the Florida fish and wildlife site about stone crabs:

http://www.floridamarine.org/support/view_faqs.asp?id=20


Edited by TheBoatMan (log)

"Who made you the reigning deity on what is an interesting thread and what is not? " - TheBoatMan

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I tried to order from Keys Fisheries today, willing to take Jason's advice and try the mediums. Sadly, they told me they didn't have any claws they could ship as the surf had been too choppy for the boats to go out. I suspect they had to reserve the claws they had harvested for Joe's.

I ordered from Billy's - not the cheapest or at least not as affordable as Keys Fisheries. They arrive tomorow, and I will most definitely post my review.

My husband and I love crab claws - almost as much if not more than lobster. When we were in the Keys last Spring, we picked up from Keys Fisheries twice in a four day period.

I remember going to Joes many years ago as a kid. It was a real treat - but then Dad was picking up the tab. I took my husband there a few years ago, as he had always wanted to try it. He's a big James Bond fan, and apparently, Joe's is mentioned in one of the books. The experience was certainly memorable - great service, great claws. But, one visit is sufficient

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