Cooters Crab Fest – It’s That Time of Year Again!
CLEARWATER BEACH – To celebrate the official opening of Stone Crab season, Cooters Raw Bar & Restaurant will host their 15th Annual Crab Festival Oct. 16 -19, and all are invited to attend. The four-day fest will kick off at 5:00 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 16, and will run throughout the weekend. Cooters’ special Crab Fest menu will feature stone crab claws, king crab, snow crab and Dungeness crab all at special reduced prices, live music under the big tent, and special prices on beverages.
Each year, Cooters kicks off their Crab Fest on the first Thursday after October 15th. This year, there is only one day between the opening of the season, and Cooters’ Crab Fest, which means that their kitchen staff will be working at a frenzied pace to prepare the hundreds of pounds of stone crab that will be served that evening “The crabbers will start pulling traps October 15th. Usually we have a couple days between season opening and Crab Fest. This year, we have only hours. Our cooks will be clocking in well before dawn to start the preparations,” said Manager Joe Bertha.
Stone crabs season in Florida runs from Oct. 15 – May 15, and harvesting is highly regulated by the Florida Department of Agriculture. Stone Crabs are captured alive in traps and returned alive to the sea immediately after the claws are removed. This enables the crabs to regenerate their missing claw.
After the claws are harvested, they are fully cooked in fresh water, and then “flash chilled” in ice water. The cooking of fresh Stone Crab Caws immediately after harvest prevents the delicate meat from sticking to the inside of the shell and the ice water plunge locks in the natural sweet flavor and keeps the freshly cooked claw meat rich and succulent.
The sweet, succulent meat of the Florida stone crab claw is delicious unseasoned, served hot with butter, or cold with dipping sauce. Cooters will serve the claws both ways.
“Both Floridians and tourists like to celebrate the opening of Stone Crab Season here in Florida,” says Bertha. “At Cooters we like to offer other crab varieties during Crab Fest, so that our customers have plenty of options. In previous years, our Crab Feast Platter, which is loaded with an assortment of crab has always been a popular choice. We have lots of choices on the menu to keep everyone happy. Come join us for great food and great fun!”
Cooters Raw Bar & Restaurant is located t 423 Poinsettia Avenue, Clearwater Beach. Phone 727-462-2668.
Return to Current Edition