My favorite Florida seafood is about to be in season!
To jump-start the anticipated stone crab season, Keys Fisheries Market & Marina is hosting the 3rd Annual Stone Crab Eating Contest for amateur eaters. (I didn't know there was such a think as 'professional' eaters! Wonder if I'm considered one?)
The fun munch-a-thon will task contestants with cracking and eating 25 succulent stone crab claws. On the surface, I think I could handle eating 25 claws. But truth be told, I'm usually full after consuming just four.
Prizes for the top three finishers in the crab-consuming contest include two-night vacation getaways, gift certificates from Keys Fisheries Restaurant and a Dolphin Dip encounter at the Dolphin Research Center.
The entry fee to register is $20 per contestant until Oct. 1 and $25 per person after that date. Contestants must be at least 18 years old.
The stone crab season runs from Oct. 15 to May 15 each year.
Whether you'll just be dining, or competing, here are some fun facts to impress your friends during stone crab season:
-- Stone crab claws have been commercially harvested in Florida since the 1930s
-- About 40% of the state's annual stone crab harvest of nearly 3 million pounds comes from Keys waters
-- Stone crab claws are considered a renewable resource because of the crabs' ability to regrow harvested claws.
If you're interested in comp-eating, here are all the details for the Stone Crab Eating Contest:
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 19, 1pm
WHERE: Keys Fisheries Market and Marina, located at 35th Street gulfside in Marathon
EVENT REGISTRATION: KeysFisheries.com
MARATHON INFO: Fla-keys.com/marathon