Posted on Saturday, September 19, 2015
(October 15 marks the beginning of the Naples stone crab season)
On a Thursday morning in the middle of next month our finest waterman will head out to sea in search of one of our all time favorite delicacies – Menippe mercenaria – the Florida stone crab. Well actually the stone crab is found throughout the western Atlantic but by local tale and favoritism you would think the things just popped out of all creation right here.
They are simply delicious. Full disclosure I am a lifetime fisherman and have sampled (actually devoured) a lot of seafood all over the world but the stone crab is right up there on my list with the New England Lobster, Dover Sole, Yellow Tail Snapper and the Pompano for all time great seafood dishes. Watch out for shellfish allergies but if you have not tried them you might give it a start this season. Fresh, organic by origin, local and a big part of local tradition, you just have to love them.
(we need a lot of traps to catch 2,000,000+ stone crabs each year)
Ever wonder how these critters are captured? A lot of hard work for starters. You set out traps on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico maybe tweet five feet down or so baited with pig knuckles or fish heads or other favorites and let the traps soak for a day or two. Now put down hundreds of traps, pull each one up by hand and winch, head out on to the Gulf of Mexico in all kinds of weather, hope the market price holds up to cover your costs and hope the crabs show up. If you want a pre-season sense of the tough, tough work involved head down to Goodland, park at the Little Bar or Stan’s and gaze across the harbor at the traps stacked to the sky on the peninsula. Or look to your right and check out some of the working boats. Tough work, tough waterman and well worth the effort. Check Florida regulations for proper fishing and handling methods (having tried this as an amateur to catch these rascals I would recommend leaving this to the pros).
(We are going to need boats and very dedicated and hardworking watermen again this year)
We eat a lot of stone crabs in Florida. What are we doing to promote sustainability? There is really good news here. According to the latest write-up in Wikipedia the catch holds at 2-3 million per year and current regulations, methods, licensing rules and enforcement have achieved a stable population. In fact according to Wikipedia The Monterey Bay Aquarium has given the Florida stone crab fishery its highest rating of “Best Choice” for maintaining high fishing standards and working hard to keep the stone crab a viable fishery. Well done on the regulatory front, we want these species (and all others for that matter) to stay right along with us.
(simple, with a Meyer Lemon and a cold beverage is how I like them)
But what about actual recipes? Well you can keep it simple and just boil them up and after a butter dunk you are ready to go. But not so fast if you are a serious epicurean. We have seen some remarkable preparations up and down fifth avenue south and third street not to mention up and down the trail. Start with simple seasoning, a boil and a munch with a cold beer or try something more refined and even spectacular in your kitchen. Why not make a reservation now for a table October 15-16 in your favorite restaurant. You are going to love them.
So … the great Naples lifestyle continues and next month will usher another great tradition – stone crab season. I cannot wait. Why not pick up the phone and catch up with us and let us know how you are doing? Just give us a call at 239.595.3920 (Nan) or 239.595.3921 (Mark) or 239.285.2038 (David) and let us share with you all the great things to do here.
(The International Award Winning Naples Best Addresses Team at Coldwell Banker – stone crab lovers every one!)
Please also consider reading our book “Understanding Naples Real Estate” to get you started on a real estate search https://www.naplesbestaddresses.com/offer/ or just give us a call about things to do here.
All the best,
Nan, Mark and David Goebel, PA’s
Co-Founders Naples Best Addresses
Mark Goebel, PA and Nan Goebel, PA
REALTOR Coldwell Banker 5th Avenue South
Mobile: 239.595.3921 239.595.3920
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Mark Goebel, PA is a REALTOR with Coldwell Banker on 5th avenue in Naples, Florida with 35+ years of visiting and living in Naples. After 25 years at Accenture, Mark retired as a managing director and spends his time helping non profits and building a Naples real estate team with his wife Nan and son David. Talk to Mark, Nan and Dave about life in Naples and why they chose this place to live full-time over all others and enjoy Naples real estate.
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