Everglades City, located south of Naples and Marco Island at the threshold of the western Everglades, is the very center of the stone crab industry and the second-largest supplier of stone crab claws in the country. And from October to May, the crabbing activity reaches its peak. Stone Crabs are one of the many things that give life to the tourism industry of the region. It generates good income as these crabs are not sold for cheap. I suppose we can say that they are the lifeblood in many parts of the region, especially in the Everglades area where they are harvested and processed the most.
We have listed down top ten facts about Florida’s all time favorite sea critter.
- Stone Crabs use tools. They use shells to dig up the sand for their burrows.
- Half of the crab’s body weight is it’s huge claws
- Mother crabs can lay up to a million eggs. Not all survive to adulthood though
- No one is exactly sure how long these tasty morsels live. Best estimate for it is 7-9 years though.
- October 15 to May 15 is the best crabby crab season
- Hunting season is not effective in summer to allow spawning
- Crabs are very susceptible to traps with pig’s feet as bait. Always fun to see them trapped.
- These crabs are like Wolverine from X-men. They regenerate! That means unlimited crab claws forever!
- The catch is, you must steam them right after you take them from the water or else the meat with stick to the shell
- These crabs are usually served cold and with mustard or butter. (little secret bonus: It tastes like lobster)
This booming industry is a testament to the resourcefulness of the people in the region. That’s because in the old days, these crabs were treated like a bit of a nuisance to the fishermen as these crabs get stuck on their fishing nets. It was until then they saw to turn this weakness into a business opportunity. Pioneers and business-minded men invested in these ‘pests’ and then tried to build a giant corporation around it and the rest, they say, is history.
Today there are fine dining restaurants along the city of Naples and Marco Island that serve this famous treat. Hotels and even resto-grills are jam packed with people nightly and more so every weekend just to get their hands on these mouth-watering crabs. Some restaurants operate solely because their customers look for these grabs and they never fail to deliver. The hotels, on the other, hand serve them in fancy plates arranged neatly and all so, if that’s your thing then, we assure you that there are absolutely lots of ways to eat this crab with grace and dignity.
This delectable dish is a hit among many and people from far and wide come back year after year just to get a taste of these crabs once again. You might find this very appetizing too, provided you don’t have the allergies, of course, because that would be very unfortunate.