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Apr 20, 2011 05:11 PM

Soft Shell Crabs

All -
I think it's a bit early to be expecting soft shells around Boston in late April as I've heard they really don't appear in the Chesapeake till after the first full moon in May (?), but anyone found soft shells from more southern environs in any stores recently?

Used to buy them at Fresh Pond Seafood in Cambridge... Any updates on Fresh Pond re-opening in Arlington, or any other crab sources in the western 'burbs?

Thanks, and looking forward to shad & roe from CT. in a few weeks.
Best to all!


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  1. Peach Farm in CTown doesn't have fresh yet; maybe a few weeks.

    I noticed a post on the South Board that somewhere in NC had fresh..

    I think this is going to be a little later season than usual for a good supply.

    Top places like ICOB or Neptune may pay up for shipping to get them earlier.

    Peach Farm
    4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

    1. I recently spoke with the ladies at the North End Fish Market about soft shell crabs. Because of the bad bad winter we had, the SSC season will probably be pushed into June. :(

      Fish Market
      170 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134

        1. re: okra

          Well, I just came back from visiting family on Long Island, where we did have soft shelled crabs....I didn't even think to ask where they got theirs. I searched here in hopes of finding similar distribution to Boston. Oh well.....

          1. re: brotherrat

            They may have been local; they are on the 'specials' menu now at Shagwong Diner in Montauk as being local, fresh SSC.

            1. re: ipsofatso

              court house seafood has softshell crabs

                1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                  Last year they were live, jumbo or whale, and about $5.50 each I think. Haven't stopped in this year yet. Last year New Deal mostly had whales, for about $6.25 each I think.

                  1. re: emannths

                    thanks, usually they are more expensive earlier in the season. last year i bought them from alive and kickin.

                    1. re: emannths

                      my mom was a Virginia country girl and soft shells were her fav thing in the world

                      ( would only eat them lightly floured and sauteed in butter). I will never forget being 13 and living on the james river in va. when a local boy came to my mom with a just-moulted soft shell the size of a sub sandwich (for 25 cents!!)I don't think i had ever seen her so happy :-)

                      And yes, they do NOT freeze well (home-frozen anyway) because there's so much water in them. ugh. Likely high-technology flash frozen is better.

                      Will have to go to Courthouse when they get whales; thnx much for the heads up.

                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                        Courthouse ha nothing at 10 AM this AM. If they did, I'd have reserved a few and had lunch...maybe tomorrow. They're here in Boston but it's just whether your monger has them.

                        1. re: 9lives

                          Does courthouse have the SSC sandwiches that I've heard about?

                          1. re: Prav

                            I haven't had them yet this season but I assume they do. My routine is to call them about 10:30 on a day I can make it over there and ask them to hold a few. Then send 1 or 2 over to the restaurant.

                            Just hasn't been the right timing yet this year.

                            1. re: 9lives

                              They don't put it on the "menu" until after the initial rush. ("menu" addition is via a paper plate they can take down quickly.) If you buy them in the seafood market, are nice, and pay a small upcharge to have them cooked there. Keep in mind the restaurant closes at 6:30.

          2. Connolly's Seafood in Gloucester has them but they are dressed and then fresh frozen; they are very good. About 8.00 for a six-pak

            4 Replies
            1. re: ipsofatso

              i will wait for live ones; there is plenty of other seafood available. Courthouse says that they should have some more next week; i did not ask about pricing as i think that it will depend on what they pay.

              1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                There is a great difference between the taste of live vs frozen. Another CH who posts regularly here and I got the frozen instead of the fresh, in season. I won't name the restauraunt..Ctown but when we called over the mgr..he sheepishly acknowledged the error, they'd run out of live and subbed frozen..and took away the plate. What the heck, it was Peach Farm..and they are honest about their fish and shelfish...not sure where soft shell crabs fit in the mix...crabs are shellfish..soft shell are shedding their hard shell...:)

                Taiwan has them on the menu year round. Neevr tried to get fresh.

                Dok Bua does a great version, in season...but they are on the menu year round

                1. re: 9lives

                  preparing soft shell crabs is so simple; it is best done at home. I will not buy them from whole foods as they do not serve them live but cleaned.

                  1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                    I wouldn't write off WF for that reason

                    Live and wiggling a little is fine as is them cleaning it for you. I usuasually clean my own but if I'm feelng tired or lazy, I'm not above letting some one else do it.......reiterate, frozen is a diff product.

                    If you evr getd own that way, check out this place..


                    It'1 of the oldest oyster" factories"...and a s/s crab op that is hand tended for all of 2 weeks.

                    Beautiful spot on the May River,

                    Worth seeing!

            2. We don't see any progress at Fresh Pond/Arlington redux (across from Scutra). There's a truck in the parking lot, a sign out front, and that's all we've seen for some time now. Will post here if we see any signs of life.

              5 Replies
              1. re: digga

                There's been more activity as of late, more contractors/trucks/etc.
                They were actually doing something with the sign today, since it only faces one direction of traffic.

                  1. re: rknrll

                    i don't know anything of this; pse explain! is this the fresh pond sfd.guy?

                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                      His son.
                      Info here:


                      Pictured is the old sign I was talking sign is up with hours posted on it as well. Still looks like a lot of work needs to be done inside...but they do continue to work.

                      1. re: rknrll

                        this is really terrific news! th you.