Stone crab, the Florida Keys' renewable seafood resource

Stone crab is one of the Florida’s Keys’ most treasured dishes Photo: Florida stone crab

DALLAS, January 23, 2013 – Stone crab is one of the Florida’s Keys’ most treasured dishes, says Carol Shaughnessy of Newman PR and the Florida Keys News Bureau.

Succulent stone crab claws have been commercially harvested since the 1930s, and each year hundreds of thousands of pounds of Florida’s stellar crustacean are steamed, cracked, plated and served at local markets and restaurants around the nation.

About 40 percent of the state’s annual stone crab harvest of nearly 3 million pounds comes from Keys’ waters, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

That makes the region Florida’s top supplier of the world-renowned delicacy — considered a renewable resource because of the crabs’ ability to re-grow harvested claws,” Shaughnessy explains.

The best part about eating stone crabs is you don’t kill the crab to eat it. Instead, crabbers remove one claw – usually the larger of the two claws – and return the crab to its natural environment.  Stone crabs regenerate their claws, making them a renewable resource.

The delicacy is such a treat that there are several food festivals held each year in the Keys, like the Key Largo Stone Crab & Seafood Festival (www.fkrm.com/crabandseafood) which takes place at the end of January.

From waterfront docks to handheld forks, the Key Largo Stone Crab & Seafood Festival, set for Saturday and Sunday, January 26 and 27, offers fresh local seafood, live musical entertainment, cooking demonstrations, contests and kids activities.

Sponsored by the Key Largo Fisheries and Key Largo Merchants Association, the fourth annual event at Rowell’s Marina, mile marker 104.5 bayside, is a weekend of family fun, food and fish from local waters. Attractions include arts and crafts, vendor booths, fireworks, a car show and live musical performances.

Seafood booths serve the succulent stone crab claws, homemade smoked fish dip, conch fritters, chowders, tuna nachos and lobster as well as landlubber favorites like chicken, sausage, burgers and hot dogs.

Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 per adult and free for children age 12 and under.

Event proceeds benefit Florida Keys charities.

For more information on the Florida Keys’ visit www.fla-keys.com.

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1300 articles to her credit in the past 15-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a national radio show called “The Duva Show” where her “The Insider Mag’s” I’m Standing Here segment can be heard weekly between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings.

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and the North Texas Film Critics and writes for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily New, Living Magazine and Valley Scene Magazines as well as www.greensourceDFW. She also spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.

She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association.

Her latest book release is “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma” from www.historypress.net and she will be publishing her ninth book this spring about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.


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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.

 

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