Stone Crabs – A Renewable Delicacy

The Stone Crab fishery is unique in that stone crabs are not killed but, rather, the legal-sized claws are removed and the crabs are returned to the water alive.

There is no better restaurant at which to enjoy Stone Crabs than Joe’s in Chicago on the corner of Grand & Rush where the ambiance and service are second to none.

Although it is lawful to harvest both of a stone crab’s claws this practice leaves the stone crab with few alternatives to defend itself from predators. Having one claw (if the other one is harvested) will enable the crab to obtain greater amounts of food in a shorter amount of time. Stone crabs (like other crustaceans) have the ability to grow back their claws, but this process requires a large amount of energy in the form of food. The quicker the crab can obtain the energy required to molt and grow its lost claw, the sooner this renewable delicacy will have another claw to replace the missing claw. Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Institute for more information on Stone Crabs.
Good News: Stone Crab population levels are estimated to be high and no overfishing is occurring. The unique manner in which stone crab claws are harvested helps ensure the long-term sustainability of the species. Stone Crabs are a good, low-fat source of protein, selenium and magnesium. All of the stone crab claws on the market come from wild fisheries.

Joe’s Remoulade Sauce – a combination of creamy mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, minced celery, minced parsley, lemon juice, Cajun seasoning, and minced green onion is a classic accompaniment to the crab. You can visit Joe’s website for the recipe.

My Wine Pairing Recommendation: Joe’s serves King Estate Pinot Gris by the glass. With its gorgeous tropical fruit flavors and creamy complexity, this wine is a perfect complement to the crab.

On our most recent visit, our waiter Steve B. was awesome. We were celebrating my cousin Vicki’s engagement, and not only did Steve surprise Vicki with a slice of their famous Key Lime Pie with a candle, he also brought a slice of Chocolate Fudge Pie for Geri, to honor the soon-to-be mother of the bride. And when I told him about Taste With The Eyes he graciously brought out more food to photograph. I would like to extend a special thank you to Joe’s entire waitstaff. See you soon!

8 thoughts on “Stone Crabs – A Renewable Delicacy”

  1. Lori Lynn,
    Those claws are beautiful! But I’ll have to admit, I’m going to be thinking about those poor lamed crabs today. It’s so much easier to eat good food when we know a little less about them. 🙂
    Hope your great! It sounds like you have had a wonderful couple of weeks. 🙂

  2. Hi Laurie – Oh, I am so sorry that you found this depressing. Years ago, I was a vegetarian for the simple reason that it made me sad to think of the feelings of the animals, so I do understand.

    Now, I don’t anthropomorphize the crustacean’s nervous system, so instead of finding the practice disturbing, I think it is a terrific sustainable food source.

    I would be interested to hear what others think about it?

    Your honest comment is much appreciated, Laurie.

  3. These look great and season down here is just about over. Too fun, last time I was in Chicago we ate at Joe’s!!!! Great place!

  4. I’m entirely jealous – it’s so hard to find stone crabs in the great white north. We actually FEDEXed a box of them from Joe’s a couple of years ago – absolute heaven – and yes…we were nuts to do it. (but so worth it)

  5. Lori Lynn..I should have added more smilies as I was writing that comment..I wasn’t depressed about it, it was just a momentary feeling of compassion for those little crustaceans. 🙂 🙂 {BIG SMILE}

  6. Oh Lori Lynn, You got that right! Joes is sooo good! The first time I had stone crabs was in Florida visiting relatives, when the season starts all the resturants are packed with the locals wanting there stone crab dinners. Those claws are so meaty and delicious!!

  7. Hi Winedeb – I eat there EVERY visit!

    Hi Giz – I never thought of doing that, hmmm. I might do that when I need a fix!

    Hi Cynthia – he was terrific, made the luncheon even better!

    Hi Laurie – thanks! I get it. BIG SMILE.

    Hi Marie – and living in Chicago, you can go to Joe’s anytime. I’m jealous. I also had the Chilean Sea Bass with tomato chutney, out of this world!

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