The season is nearly upon us – stone crab season, that is. Stone crab season officially begins on Monday, October 15. Are you ready for the sweet, delectable goodness of stone crab claws? Are you prepared to take full advantage of this bounty from the sea? If not, thankfully, there is someone ready to help – Fresh Stone Crabs of Miami. Shelly Abramowitz, the owner of Fresh Stone Crabs and New York City’s acclaimed 1980’s restauranteur of glitzy hotspots Canastel’s and Café Society, is at your service.
Abramowitz is excited to reincarnate his 1989 concept to supply fresh stone crabs not just locally but within the entire US. Over ninety percent of all stone crabs harvested are from Florida. While other companies will ship stone crabs, Fresh Stone Crabs guarantees their stone crabs are always fresh, never frozen. Deliveries on Miami Beach are free. Shipments anywhere else within the US have a significantly reduced FedEx charge, which generally is about half the price of other shippers’ fresh catch.
Abramowitz says, “One of the biggest challenges for customers is truly getting fresh stone crabs. Many restaurants will freeze the bulk of their stone crabs when they are in season for shipping later, saving the fresh crabs for their tables. I don’t have a restaurant and therefore don’t have that dilemma. My customers will get fresh stone crabs, never frozen, every time. I work with over 50 fishing boats in the Florida Keys to service my orders. When I sell out, that’s it. We don’t even own a freezer.”
Now, you may be asking, what is the big deal with frozen vs. never frozen. The difference is the flavor. To bite into a chunk of stone crab claw meat that never saw the inside of a freezer is a little bit of heaven. The meat is sweet, not like a chocolate chip cookie sweet, but a slight sweetness with just the faintest hint of fresh, non-processed salt from the ocean. Many people will prepare garlic butter to help with the bland freezeresque flavor of frozen shellfish. Don’t get me wrong, garlic butter sauce is quite delicious, but not needed with Fresh Stone Crabs crabs, although I have grown fond of dipping claw meat in a bit of spicy mustard for a bit of kick.
Stone crabs, also known as soft-shell crabs when they are molting – a stage that only lasts a few short hours, are prized for their extra-large meaty claws. They can be prepared in a multitude of ways. My two favorite ways to prepare them are like shrimp cocktail – quickly and lightly boiled (remember they are fresh) with a dipping sauce. Or like a Southern crab bake with large chunks of onion, corn on the cob, sliced baby potatoes (I like using red and purple potatoes to add color), sprinkled with sea salt. Sometimes I will cut a jalapeño or two to add a little ‘bam!’ to the dish.
I love seafood, but I particularly love seafood that has never spent time in the freezer. To place an order with Fresh Stone Crabs, call Shelly Abramowitz at (305) 989-1969. He will even include mustard for you. For orders of ten pounds or more, they will throw in a key lime pie.
I can’t wait for stone crab season to start to try some new recipes.
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