Spring has sprung, and the first live soft shell crabs of the season are arriving right on time. Way down south in the beautiful state of Georgia hard shell crabs are beginning to shed for the first time this year.
The “peelers” are caught just outside Savanah, then put in a truck and shipped north quickly on I 95. Four hours later, they rendezvous on the side of the interstate in Wilson, NC and transfer to another waiting truck. The truck then takes the live 8000 peelers to a little town on the edge of the Pamlico Sound, across from Nagshead, NC. They are put in heated tanks (68-degree water), where they resume their shedding process.
Each day from then on, until the run in Georgia is over, the peelers that shed the previous night are put on freight trucks and arrive in major cities on the east coast. Restaurants receive them the next morning with their daily seafood deliveries, less than 24 hours from when they shed. It is incredible how fast the seafood distribution network operates on such a perishable product.
Don’t hesitate to contact your sales rep if you want a tray or two of the first of season live soft crabs later this week. They will start out expensive as they always do ($6 each), and the market will fall in late April or early May when North Carolina starts their run. The Chesapeake Bay will start their peeler runs just after that.
Prices are subject to fluctuation.