Eat Gulf Seafood

Species

Meet Crabs

Crabs sure are an interesting species. These decapods (ten-legged creatures) swim sideways, walk sideways, have teeth inside of their stomachs, and shed their shells as they grow! More than 4,500 species of crabs have been treading the Earth's waters since Jurassic times; and seafood lovers have savored buttery, soft, and sweet crabmeat for centuries.

In the Gulf, you'll find more than 60 types of crab, with four main types available at restaurants and seafood stores. Gulf crab species are available year-round, meaning that you should always be able to find fresh, local crab to serve as the base for a delicious lunch or dinner -- or even breakfast! Crab cake benedict, anyone?

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Blue Crab Debris

Blue Crab Debris

4

55

min
simmer

Watch Crabs

Nutrition

Crabmeat is packed with protein, B vitamins, and minerals – making it a perfect part of a balanced diet. Crabmeat is a low-calorie protein source that's rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Although crabmeat is often served with butter, it's just as delicious when garnished with flavor-packed herbs or simply cooked and savored on its own.

View Nutritional Chart »

Species Types

Blue Crab
Blue crabs are caught year-round from all five Gulf states, with peak harvest times in the warm summer and fall months. Blue crabs are named for their blue-tinted shells and claws. Male blue crabs have vibrantly blue claw tips, whereas females' claws are red at their tips.

Soft shell blue crabs – that is, blue crabs that have temporarily molted their hard shells – are only found in Florida and Louisiana. This sought-after type of crabmeat is most abundant in the springtime and has a smooth, buttery taste. After it's cooked, it's usually served and eaten whole.

Illustrations compliments of Alabama Gulf Seafood

Golden Crab
Golden crabs are caught year-round in Florida. Golden crabs get their name from their cream-colored shells, which, when cooked, turn a golden color. Golden crabs can't swim. They carry themselves (which can weigh up to five pounds) by scurrying across the sands deep below the Gulf waters.

Golden crabs are notable for their easy-to-shell, large bodies. Golden crabmeat is sweet and mild in taste, making it a versatile recipe ingredient.

Illustrations compliments of Alabama Gulf Seafood

Gulf Stone Crab
Gulf stone crabs are found in all five Gulf states, and are in peak season from May through October. Gulf stone crabs are known for their large crusher claw, which is strong enough to crush an oyster and accounts for roughly half of the Gulf stone crab's entire weight. Gulf stone crabs are maroon-brown in color.

Stone crab legs turn orange when cooked, almost resembling the look of lobster legs. In fact, some say that Gulf stone crabmeat tastes sweet and firm like lobster meat, too.

Illustration courtesy of Vintage Printable, Public Domain

Florida Stone Crab
The Florida stone crab is very similar to the Gulf stone crab, but is caught exclusively in Florida. Florida stone crabs have spotted maroon-brown shells, which helps distinguish them from solid-colored Gulf stone crabs. Like Gulf stone crabs, Florida stone crabs are known for their huge crusher claws and distinctly sweet taste.

Illustration courtesy of Vintage Printable, Public Domain

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