Don’t Miss Florida Stone Crab Season for Local Delicacies

Florida stone crabs rank as one of the Sunshine State’s great delicacies. Some people schedule their vacations during the season, so they can enjoy these succulent crustaceans. Lesser known than their king crab cousins, stone crabs are found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts in the U.S. With small bodies ranging 5 to 6 inches wide, stone crabs might not seem like much of a meal, but their oversized claws provide a meaty treat along the Florida coast. Keep reading to learn about Florida stone crab season.

Florida Stone Crab Season Overview

Florida stone crab season runs from October 15 to May 15, harvested primarily between Sarasota and Fort Lauderdale. In addition, many Gulf Coast restaurants feature stone crabs with local flavor on their menus. Many northerners accustomed to eating crab dipped in melted butter are surprised to discover that stone crab claws are traditionally served cold with a spicy mustard sauce for dipping. However, some restaurants serve them hot with butter.

Like king crab, Florida stone crabs have a delicious, sweet-tasting meat considered superior to stone crabs found in the Carolinas or Caribbean. They are also harvested differently than blue crabs, as only the stone crab’s oversized claws are harvested. The meat often resembles lobster in look and taste.

Those vacationing in Florida can cook up a batch of stone crab claws for the whole family. Claws are available fresh or frozen at many local markets, so ask area grocers if they plan to carry them during the season. Just boil the claws in salted water until tender, serve and eat.

Stone Crab Nutrition Facts

As more people become health-conscious, it’s important to note that stone crabs are a seafood. As with most seafood, stone crabs contain omega 3 fatty acids and lots of protein, offering a healthy alternative to red meat. Here’s the break down:

Don’t miss the chance to try them. Plan a vacation in Florida and find great rates in the off-season.

Main photo: Flickr user Carl Lender.