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Sources for soft shell crabs? Steep prices?

aregularjoe May 7, 2014 10:56 AM

So I went into New Deal toady to buy some soft shells, and they were $8.99 EACH! (up $2 a pound form last year) Are they this overpriced everywhere? Anybody know of other reliable vendors with better prices? (greater Boston, South of Boston?)

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  1. rlh RE: aregularjoe May 7, 2014 11:36 AM

    I saw those (without noting the price) on Monday, but they were really large and impressive specimens - maybe there is a premium for their extreme size?]

    As an aside, I did pick up some of the finest fresh, local, hand-cleaned calamari I have ever tasted for $7.99 a lb - they were justifiably very proud it - can't wait to have it again!

    6 Replies
    1. re: rlh
      9lives RE: rlh May 7, 2014 01:17 PM

      That is correct. There is a premium for larger sizes..


      I haven't seen them but haven't really looked. Prices seem way up from last year.

      The Chinatown restaurants do NOT have them yet.

      1. re: 9lives
        rlh RE: 9lives May 7, 2014 03:53 PM

        Thanks - now that you provide the details, I am pretty sure they were even labeled "whales" - so it makes sense - glad to learn the season is just beginning, too - maybe supplies will increase and prices will drop.

        1. re: rlh
          StriperGuy RE: rlh May 8, 2014 06:37 AM

          I never even heard of a "whale-sized" soft shell, but there is almost always a premium price for the bigger ones. The bigger ones really are much better because the meat to shell ratio is way better.

          I've gotten some pretty small ones at bargain prices (and I will eat any soft shell anywhere, etc.) and the little ones can get pretty shelly, i.e. you are munching on shell vs. swooning over flavorful meat...

          Heck, I've seen jumbos that were 2X as big as some of the smaller bargain SSCs.

          Even at New Deal, as the season progresses prices come down, and even day to day, if the freshest they can can get on a given day are smaller, the price will be lower.

          1. re: StriperGuy
            aregularjoe RE: StriperGuy May 8, 2014 06:43 AM

            "whale" is the largest size classification of soft shells. Over 5.5 inches

            1. re: aregularjoe
              StriperGuy RE: aregularjoe May 8, 2014 07:52 AM

              Who knew... where they actually charging $2 less for Whales at the START of the season last year?

              1. re: StriperGuy
                aregularjoe RE: StriperGuy May 8, 2014 08:12 AM

                not sue of timing last year

    2. Veggo RE: aregularjoe May 7, 2014 11:46 AM

      Captain Marden's in Wellesley has had them recently, $7.50 each. They didn't get any in today.

      1. 9
        9lives RE: aregularjoe May 8, 2014 12:46 PM

        hooks had them today..$7 each.

        I'd estimate 4-5".. Definitely not whales.

        1. rlh RE: aregularjoe May 27, 2014 09:05 AM

          Enjoyed the app version at Island Creek last night - a very large fresh one, lightly dredged, (deep) fried with corn, arugula, and saffron aioli condiments, though it was a bit steep at $18.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rlh
            rozziegirl RE: rlh May 27, 2014 09:46 AM

            I had that too, and in agreement with you. I did buy soft shells at new deal last week - $6.99 each and they were decent sized and oh so tasty. Labeled "Jumbo" I believe.

          2. b
            Bellachefa RE: aregularjoe May 27, 2014 09:49 AM

            are they alive? that's all I care about!

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