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Dungeness crab $/lb at your local stores?

With the price of everything going through the roof, its very discouraging to be told that wholesalers are buying crab from the fisherman for LESS this year than last. Opening day's price was $1.60/lb, then up to $2 just before Christmas...I think now its at $2.75/lb. That's almost an insult considering how hard one works to catch the little buggers.
Buying a crab live means you get to decide how to prepare it, and the quality will be best since its never been frozen. I always clean them prior to cooking to remove any contaminants, I never cook whole crab. They prefer mud and sand bottom areas, and typically bring some of it with them into the livewell. Like all ocean creatures they make lots of waste, which they are all breathing when kept in close quarters. Besides stinky water, the gills can sometimes carry quite a load of sand and sediments, which gets added to your brine if they're cooked whole. You don't even want to KNOW what the processor's waste water from boiling mass quantities of crab looks like (and smells like), if you did you'd probably never be able to eat crab again. I can definitely say that there is a significant difference in taste between whole and pre-cleaned, whole is much fishier (especially the body meat, which is often wasted because its too strong, what a shame!) while the cleaned crab is more delicate and pure crab. Check out some brine recipes, I've experimented quite a bit and found that you can enhance your crab to 5 star gourmet by adding a few key ingredients.

Dungeness crab $/lb at your local stores?

No fisherman who wanted to keep being a fisherman would take females, they're job security!!! It wouldn't be easy to get the eggs off anyway, and they'd be full of sand and the furry fringes she glues them to. The flavor of ocean floor and crab excrement would probably overpower whatever taste they have.

Dungeness crab $/lb at your local stores?

The commercial season in NorCal opened Dec 1st...something like 95% of California's crab harvest is landed in Crescent City. The market was flooded. Boats start pulling pots at midnight on the 1st, first truckloads of crab start heading out by noon. Crab can live in a tank for weeks as long as the water stays clean and well aerated. But you are right, cheap crab won't last long. The biggest boats drop hundreds of pots, fish nonstop between storms, then quit after about 6 weeks when the catch starts to decrease. Costs too much to run those big boats and pay the crew. Smaller boats keep fishing until July or whenever the crab decide to start molting, but as supply drops the price jumps up.

Crescent City suggestions?

If you're passing through Crescent City and need information on ANYTHING, restaurant or otherwise, stop at Redwood National Park's headquarters/visitor center. Its on 2nd and K St, look for brown park sign but pretty easy to find. They are open 7 days a week, staff is very helpful and they have tons of info on the area. Get a free map and dining guide there. I live here and have eaten just about everywhere. Harbor Grotto and Chart Room are pretty decent, but my hands down favorite is the Beachcomber. Its right on Hwy 101 just south of town, right on the beach. Easily the best view of the ocean (unobstructed), full bar, great menu (the Parmesan halibut is excellent)...but a bit on the higher end pricewise. Call first to check when they're open, I've gone a couple times and they've been closed, but thats typical in the winter. You might want to make reservations in the summer. Toreros makes a great seafood chimichanga, shrimp crab and scallops with monty jack cheese and a really good sauce (can't remember name, sweet and tangy, orange in color). Between Smith River and the Oregon border is a restaurant called The Nautical which is our only 4-5 star true fine dining kind of place. Beautiful place, dramatic ocean view and $100 for 2 people to eat and drink. There aren't too many places that I wouldn't waste the money on. I did have a bad experience at Bistro Gardens though, way overpriced for cheap ingredients and my grilled shrimp tasted like fishy rubber. Beacon Burger next door has excellent two-handed messy burgers and a surprisingly large menu variety for such a small place. They have a couple tables inside, but the picnic tables outside overlook the sea lion dock. At 5th St and 101 Southbound (L St) is Coffee Corner, very good deli sandwiches coffee bar and pastries. You can eat there or takeout and head for one of the many overlooks along Pebble Beach Dr. or into the redwoods if you'd rather find a more scenic spot just a few minutes away.

Jan 16, 2009
Krazy Krabs in California