Recipes and interesting facts about food, sustainable seafood and vegetables.

Shell Fish – Local & Sustainability

Shell Fish – Local & Sustainability Sustainability In Fishing And Sea Food When it comes to fishing, hunting, selling, and eating seafood such as shellfish, crab, and oysters, sustainability is becoming a bigger issue every year. Supporting sustainable fishing means that the species being hunted will still be able to procreate at a “sustainable” rate, and that over time, there should be increased species diversity and less scarcity. In Florida, the farming and harvesting of oysters in the Apalachicola Bay is done sustainably. By law, Florida stone crabs cannot be harvested in their entirety, only the claw can be harvested, sold, and eaten. Stone crabs grow their claws back, which allows them to be placed back in their natural habitat after capture. Stone Crab Season Florida stone crab season runs from October 15th to May 15th, which is the only time of year where they can legally be captured. Only the claws of stone crabs can be harvested, sold, and eaten. Scientists believe that only taking one claw instead of two allows for better survival rates when stone crabs are released back into the sea. Currently, stone crab populations are stable, high, and in no danger of long term issues. Blue Crab The blue crab is part of Florida’s diverse crab industry. Blue crabs are generally found throughout the Gulf of Mexico, with crabs also coming from states such as Louisiana. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regulate blue crab fishing and limits the amount of traps allowed to be set per blue crab hunting license. There are also limits on the types of blue crab hunted, such as the seasonal prohibition of harvesting female blue crabs bearing eggs. King King crabs are generally sold from two markets—Alaska and Russia. Approximately 80 percent of all King crabs sold in the US were harvested in Russia. Alaska has stringent regulations pertaining to King crabs, though Russia generally isn’t as concerned about the long-term sustainability of the species. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council creates a report with fishing recommendations relating to King crabs each year. Snow Crab Snow crab are typically found in colder climates, such as those found in the Gulf of Alaska. While snow crab are generally associated with Alaska, they are also found throughout the Pacific Ocean near islands such as Japan. The southernmost location snow crabs are known to reside is northern California. In Alaska, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council manages snow crab fishing in-season to ensure that snow crab fishing remains sustainable.

Catching Scallops In Florida

Catching Scallops In Florida If you are looking to catch scallops in the state of Florida, you are looking towards the state’s west coast. In particular, you are looking at the northwest region of the state, a stretch of beach that covers areas such as Port St. Joe, Cape San Blas, Keaton Beach, Steinhatchee, Crystal River, and Homosassa. The state of Florida regulates scallop harvesting, and it is illegal to harvest scallops outside of a line that stretches from Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County to the Pasco-Hernando County line (the open harvest area). There are also specific regulations in regards to possession and harvesting of scallops. In order to harvest scallops, you must have a Florida saltwater fishing license and a dive flag. There is also a bag limit on harvesting, which is 2 gallons of scallops still in their shell each day. It is also illegal to possess scallops outside of the open harvest area. Florida’s scallop season runs from June 27th to September 24th. Most harvesters anchor their boat and put up their dive flag before putting on their mask and snorkel to look for scallops. Typically, scallops reside in grassy sea beds at a depth of about 4 to 8 feet. Scallops must be caught by hand or with a small dip net. Scallops must be kept at cool temperatures, and should be placed in a live well when you return to your boat. Scallops put on ice are easier to clean and cut open to get the white muscle away from the shell.

What is a Craft Bar

What is a Craft Bar Craft bars are unlike many traditional bars, which churn drinks out at the pace of a fast food restaurant. Craft bars are notorious for making sure that their cocktails are individually cared for and “handcrafted,” hence the name of the bar. Instead of making each drink as fast as possible, Craft bars treat mixology as a graduate level college course, using fresh ingredients, ice carved by hand, premium liquors, and more. Those manning the Craft bar are more artisan than “bartender,” and the exotic and memorable flavors created at these kind of bars have made them especially popular throughout the country. Popular liquors served at craft bars include vodka, gin, tequila, rum, whiskey, craft beer, and wine. These traditional liquors are spruced up and served with a plethora of other flavors that make Craft bars so special! Craft bar accents are generally unique in order to match the trend of the unique drinks served at the establishment. Birch accents are especially popular, as are many woodenaccents, due to the history of Craft bars serving customers in centuries past. In places such as Hawaii and Florida, tropical accents are popular for Craft Bars.

The Health Benefits Of Eating Fish

The Health Benefits Of Eating Fish The health benefits of eating fish are well documented, and many Americans take advantage of their benefits on a regular basis. Just eating one to two servings of fish per week could significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, per the American Heart Association. The organization notes that fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are the nutrients that positively benefit the heart. However, there can be slight dangers in eating large amounts of fish. Certain types of fish can expose you to mercury poisoning, which can be dangerous. Most humans have limited risk of mercury poisoning no matter their fish intake, but those eating large quantities of fish over long periods of time have a higher risk for the condition. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart health because they reduce the amount of inflammation throughout the body. By reducing the amount of inflammation in veins in the heart, blood pumps more efficiently and veins are less likely to get clogged. Healthier veins means less blood clotting, lower blood pressure, and more regular heart beats. While most fish carry these Omega-3 fatty acids, some, such as catfish and tilapia, don’t. Deep-frying fish instead of baking or broiling also can take away many of the health benefits that are good for the heart.

Stone Crab Claw Preparation and Serving Tips

How to prepare and serve stone crab properly. Stone crabs are harvested and sold by both recreational and professional stone crab hunters. Eventually, the claws of many of these creatures end up on a plate in the form of a stone crab claw dish. The most traditional way to prepare stone crab claw is to heat up the claws, which is eventually served with either butter or a sauce. However, stone crab claw can also be served cold. Generally, about two and a half pounds of cooked stone crab claw will yield about one pound of claw meat. Florida stone crab claws in particular are notorious for their delicious flavor. Here’s how to prepare them. Stone Crab Claws Served After Stove Heating If you are going to serve stone crab claw after heating the meat on the stove, you should start by heating a pot of water with a small pinch of salt. Stone crab claws should then be placed in a steamer basket and placed in the pot of boiling water with the pot covered. The crab claws should stay in the pot for around 5 or 6 minutes, and then they should be taken out and served fresh. Stone Crab Claws Served Cold Stone crab claws are also often  served cold. The stone crab claws must first be cracked open using a mallet or another heavy instrument. Towels or clothes are advised for stopping shells from splattering during this process. The mallet should lightly tap both sides of the stone crab claw’s knuckle. Once the claw is open, it is traditionally served with crushed ice on a tray with lemon wedges.

Fresh Produce – Central Market Produce in Sarasota

Fresh Produce – Central Market Produce in Sarasota Local & Sustainability Florida Citrus Florida is well known for its citrus fruit, as it is one of the only states in America where residents can regularly pick oranges off of trees. There is also a large, flourishing citrus farming industry in the state. Central Produce in Sarasota is committed to only using the best organic produce to fit the needs of local shops and dining establishments. Organic grown fruits are known to be healthier than their chemical counterparts in addition to having more flavor. The growing seasons for the many different varieties of citrus fruits span the entire year, so there is always a treat to be had. Organic Produce Organic produce isn’t only limited to citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. Central Market Produce in Sarasota sells all sorts of organic produce, such as apples, bananas, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, raspberries, and much more. Organic produce is healthy and tasteful for those at the dining table, but the local produce also allows restaurants to get their ingredients quickly and efficiently. Supporting local, organic producers also helps to promote sustainability, which in turn helps the environment and allows for producers to keep harvesting and selling fruits and vegetables over the long-term. Sustainability matters to local organic producers in Central Florida—especially to Central Produce in Sarasota. Buying locally means making sure that the citrus stays on as Florida’s unofficial logo.

How and where to get Stone Crab in Florida

In the state of Florida, stone crab is wildly popular and it’s easy to see why. If you were wondering where do you get stone crab, you’re in luck—it’s relatively easy to start fishing for them. There are plenty of recreational stone crab hunters, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will allow any individual possessing a recreational fishing license to possess up to one gallon of stone crab claws. If there are a group of stone crab hunters on a fishing vessel, that number is two gallons per vessel. While the claws can be harvested, the crabs themselves cannot be harmed, and must be released by law. Stone crabs are typically found in West and South Florida, in locations such as Sawyer Key, Harbor Keys Bank, Oxfoot Bank, Pavilion Key, Tampa Bay, Homosassa, Cedar Key, and Steinhatchee. Florida law allows for stone crab hunters to set at many as five traps, which must be labeled and retrieved manually by law. Stone crab traps must be retrieved during the daylight hours. Those looking to get started on recreational stone crab hunting should set tracks on rock or sand bottoms, using bait such as fish heads. Traps should be recorded with GPS coordinates so that hunters can check back every 2 to 5 days. Stone crabs are called so because they live among stones, and that’s why rocky sea beds are a great place to start. Some experienced recreational hunters even scuba dive and catch stone crab by hand. Stone crabs typically live in rocky areas where they create holes to live in. Broken shells around the opening of one of these holes is a giveaway that there could be a stone crab living inside. Once the stone crab claws have been harvested, they must be stored properly. That means setting them in a cooler without ice. Ice can damage harvested claws, causing the claw meat to stick to the inner shell.

How Eating Organic Improves Your Health – Or does it?

How Eating Organic Improves Your Health – Or does it? Most people know that eating organic is supposed to benefit their health, but they aren’t exactly sure how. Organic food offers significantly more nutrients than produce grown “conventionally,” along with lower risks of potential carcinogens such as pesticides or added growth hormones. Pesticides, toxic metals such as cadmium, and growth hormones are regularly used on conventionally grown produce in order to keep bugs away and to grow fruits and vegetables bigger and faster. However, the negative side effects are usually just glossed over, and humans eating conventionally grown foods often don’t know the pesticides that they are exposed to. Organic foods are grown without the use of harmful chemicals and provide a more nutrient rich meal. It is true that organic foods are more expensive, on average. Unfortunately for some, organic foods that can be as much as twice the price of conventionally grown produce means that healthier food is shut out of the market. Many supermarkets have avoided organic foods altogether because of the fear that customers can’t afford them. However, customers are showing that the demand for organic foods is high enough for organic to get sold. Farmer’s markets and produce shops are selling large quantities of organic produce, and each year it is becoming a bigger staple in health conscious supermarkets such as Whole Foods. Organic foods are quickly becoming more available, and over time, prices are sure to fall as well.

Enjoy A Spectacular Culinary Journey With Savor Sarasota

Obviously we would love it if you could dine with us every day. Heck, we’d be excited if you had lunch with us and then came back for dinner. But as much as we love our customers, we know sometimes you need to explore other culinary horizons. If you’ve been feeling the epicurean wanderlust, right now is the perfect time to shake things up thanks to the return of Savor Sarasota. Image source: Savorsarasota.com Every year right around this time, Visit Sarasota County works with some of the top-rated local restaurants to present specially-curated prix-fixe menus to incentivize people to check out some of the truly wonderful eateries in the area. This year, an impressive 42 restaurants are joining the festivities. Maybe that’s why this year Savor Sarasota’s Restaurant Week is actually running a full two weeks. The event kicked off on June 1st and will continue through June 14th. Many of the participating restaurants are open for both lunch and dinner, while others are open in the evening only. Restaurants serving lunch will have a three-course $15 prix-fixe menu in the afternoon, and all restaurants will offer a $29 prix-fixe menu at dinner. It’s a great opportunity to sample a variety of things at some of the best new and longstanding restaurants in Sarasota. Image source: Savorsarasota.com Ticket Sarasota has compiled a handy list of the 42 participating restaurants. Many of the restaurants are part of the excellent Sarasota-Manatee Originals organization, including Café L’Europe, Euphemia Haye, and Michael’s On East.  With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find something exciting and new to try out. And when you’re done with your culinary adventures, don’t worry: we’ll be right here awaiting your return.  

Wines That Complement Crab

Wines That Complement Crab When it comes to finding wines that complement the crab on your plate, there are plenty of right options! However, finding tasteful, affordable wine that works well with your seafood can be a bit more difficult. Thankfully, there are plenty of wine options out there that are sure to fit your budget and delight your taste buds. We are fans of the Riesling brand, which holds a soft, pure acidic citrus taste. We believe that the taste meshes very well with the texture of rich crab meat. Riesling: Rieslings such as Claiborne & Churchill Dry Riesling 2005or Dashe McFadden Farms Dry Riesling 2006 are crisp, balanced, with a strong fruit flavor. Rieslings are typically a great way to complement your crab, especially if there is a hot sauce involved. Another favorite is the Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling. Chardonnay: Chardonnay wine is a big name that is known for coming with a big flavor. It can be known to taste oaky and has a sweet taste to it. Although these wines can be popular, they can sometimes overpower lighter meats. Chardonnay is definitely for the more experienced wine drinker. Sparkling Wines: Sparkling Wines are perhaps the lightest alcoholic offering and a great mix with crab no matter where the meat is from. They are a great mix with the buttery taste of crab dip.