Monday, April 30, 2012


I’m a seafood lover. When I have a choice of fish, fowl, red meat, veggies or even ice cream and cookies, I’ll be ordering up something that lived in the water. That goes double when I head on one of my adventure trips to fish in far away places.

Dining companions showing fine form with a box of crab claws!
Head to Iowa, plan on eating beef or pork. Head to Arkansas, order up some Tyson chicken. It’s called “eating local.” Greenies tout the practice because it makes sense, environmentally. I tout it because fresh food tastes better than old or frozen food.

So how, with all my trips to the East Coast, Florida and the Gulf Coast, how did I ever miss out on “crab claws.”  I’ve had meat from lobster claws and crabs like stone crabs with huge pinchers plenty of times, but always in conjunction with a whole lobster or a plate full of whole crabs. When a plate full of deep-fried blue crab claws showed up as an appetizer at “Flippers,” the host restaurant our first night in Orange Beach on a recent trip.

The concept is simple. The last leg segment which contains the powerful muscles that operate the crab’s pincher claws is removed and peeled of its shell. The resulting chunk is breaded, quickly deep fried in a spicy batter and served with a variety of dipping sauces.

Eating them is equally simple. Grasp by the pincher, bite gingerly until you get to the plastic-like tendon in the middle of the detached crab-limb, then pull the crab leg from your mouth sliding the meat off in your mouth. Wonderful!

An alternate preparation showed up on the appetizer platter the next night at King Neptune’s. These claws were sauteed, then dusted liberally with cajun spices. Equally wonderful.

I’m going to keep an eye out for crab claws on menus from now on. Maybe I’ve just overlooked them. If I don’t find any, I’ll just schedule another trip to Orange Beach. They are a staple, there!