Consumption Reports: Stone Crab Claws!

A coworker asked about the market price for stone crab claws and I was embarrassed to realize that I didn’t have the slightest idea.  I didn’t even know whether they would be cheaper in South Florida or Northern Virginia… the assumption, of course, being that they’d be cheaper in FL.  Having participated (twice) in pulling stone-crab traps with my step-dad, I felt this was something I should know.  I went straight to the source of all knowledge, Google, but couldn’t find a viable answer.  So, after work, I started calling around the different fish markets in South Florida and Washington, DC.

The first place (Garcia’s) had a Spanish speaker answering the phone, which made me realize, once again, that I don’t practice my Spanish enough because I didn’t know how to say “Stone Crab” in Spanish.  So I went to the source of all Spanish knowledge who I knew would answer her phone, my Grandmother.  Luckily, she was at, what sounded like, a Cuban-older-lady Convention, which turned out just ended up being a lunch in Pinecrest.  She didn’t immediately know the answer because “we didn’t have stone crabs (pronounced: eh-ston-cra’) in Cuba,” so she proposed the question to the group. “(Upside down question mark) Como se dice eston cra‘ en espanol? (How do you say eston cra’ in Spanish?) And then the group began to debate it, everyone speaking at the same time, loudly.  It sounded something like this (All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, is purely coincidental.):

Abuela: Como se dice eston cra’ en Espanol? (How do you say eston cra’ in Spanish?)

Maria Mercedes de la Portilla Balart: Ya tu sabes! (Oh boy!)

La Bacardi: Imaginate tu, eso no existia en Cuba. (Imagine that, we didn’t have those in Cuba.)

Dulce de Leches: Ang-ha, no lo teniamos en Cuba. (Yep, we didn’t have those in Cuba.)

Luz del Marisol: En Cuba teniamos cangrejo de tierra (In Cuba we had land crabs.)

Abuela: Yennie, es que no teniamos eston cra’ en Cuba. (Jennie, everyone agrees we didn’t have those in Cuba)

Turns out, my Grandmother was right, the answer was simple: “We didn’t have those in Cuba.” Unsatisfied, I asked her if they could come up with a guess as to what it would be.  More debating in the background… then they reached a consensus: cangrejo de piedra (crab of stone).  Thanks, I could have come up with that.

So I proceeded to call almost every fish market in South Florida, and two in Northern Virginia.  Here is what I found.  I figured this would be helpful for someone planning on bringing crab claws to their noche buena dinner. Turns out there isn’t a substantial price difference between FL and VA.