October 15 marked the beginning of another stone crab season. Crabbers are plying the gin-clear waters off Key West for these delicious, but formidable crabs. The crabs are seduced into a trap by chicken bones and other offal, then brought to the surface for a confrontation with the crabber. He or she decides whether to take only one or both claws, cleanly breakes them off and returns the crab to the sea. The claws, which are not essential to the crab’s existance, grow back within a few months. In the meantime, the crabber immediately cooks the claws on the boat lest they quickly spoil. We buy them ready to crack and eat, which sounds easy enough, but these guys have quite an armor. We use the EZ Cracker from Webb’s World Industries in Largo, Florida, but you can have your fishmonger crack them for you. do not pursue any other alternative. I’e tried fire extinguishers, hammers and other implements of destruction, and they just don’t work. Click here to check out my delicious stone crab dipping sauce.
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