FOODLOVER magazine


The Autumn Crab Rush

Autumn marks the prime crab season.

Boat Favis

This might not be the first ingredient you associate to the cold autumnal months, however, after a summer of feeding in nutrient-rich waters with a healthy supply of food, crabs are in fact at their best in the coming months.  

Family firm Favis of Salcombe have been fishing for crab and lobster off the South Devon coast for three generations, so we talked to Pippa and Nigel Favis about the Autumn season of this beautiful crustacean.  

“The meat is absolutely at its best at this time of year – the brown meat, in particular, is really rich and delicious.  

At this time of year, the coral inside the crab starts to firm up and becomes thicker and richer. As the season goes on through September and into October it gets better and better, and into November and December when crab is in its prime. 

The brown meat really firms up and becomes more solid and that makes it much more delicious. If you compared to crabs in July, autumn species are much heavier. They start feeding from April time and they get more and more healthy as the season progresses.”  


Buying live crab:  

  • Always look for a lively crab – check where it’s from and that it is sustainably sourced.  
  • Pick up the crab, it should feel heavy for its size, if not it is probably empty and will have very little brown meat, make sure the tail flap underneath is tight to the body, a hanging tail is a sign of a crab on its way out.   

Buying cooked crab:  

  • Ask when it was cooked, where it’s from and how it was cooked. Cooked crabs have a fairly short shelf life so ideally buy one cooked that day, make sure it was chilled quickly and keep it chilled until you eat it.   
  • Again, holding a cooked crab gives you a good idea of the quality – it will lose a small amount of weight when cooked but should feel heavy. Tip it face-down to ensure it’s not just full of water.  

Buying picked crab meat:   

  • Try to buy fresh unpasteurised, hand-picked meat – the crab meat should be full of large lumps of fantastic meat, it should be reasonably dry, not too wet, and above all should have a fantastic taste.   

 For more information visit Favis of Salcombe’s website 

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West Country FOODLOVER is a print magazine and news based website offering a foodie’s guide of what’s hot across the South West. We inspire foodies with great seasonal recipes, competitions, news and events. The magazine, website and newsletter reach more than 128,000 foodies each issue.