When it comes to food delicacies, crab is desired by many seafood lovers. The combination of its delicate meat and tasty flavor makes them irresistible to eat, not to mention having a hands-on dining experience by breaking the crab’s hard shell to get to its meat. Talk about working hard for your food!
Even though many crab species come at reasonable prices and are easily available worldwide, certain breeds of crab can be difficult to find due to over-harvesting and, of course, their high price tag. In this blog post, we will venture into the luxury of seafood and explore the most expensive crabs. Learn why these crabs are so expensive and what makes them worth the cost.
Why are These Crabs so Expensive?
The sky-high prices attached to these sought-after crustaceans stem from multiple aspects that make them the ultimate indulgence for seafood enthusiasts. One such aspect is their scarcity. For instance, particular species are only found in certain regions or at limited times of the year, intensifying demand and influencing higher market rates. Another aspect is its distinct and impressive flavors, and the remarkable textures of these priciest crabs contribute to their pricey cost elevating them as a culinary luxury.
The Blue King Crab (Cost $30 or more)
The Blue King Crab is a unique crustacean species that inhabit the bottom of icy North Pacific Waters in Alaska near the Bering Sea and Aleutian islands. Found within rocky and muddy seabeds, the Blue King crab resides at varying depths between 100 – 400 meters below sea level, where they reap benefits from cooler temperatures aiding their survival.
The Blue King Crab is prized for its delicious taste, juicy texture, and remarkable blue appearance. However, due to limited distribution ranges and fishing regulations that limit harvests, this crab is rare, making it one of the most expensive crabs.
The Coconut Crab (Cost $35)
The Coconut Crab inhabits lush tropical areas throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The magnitude of Coconut Crabs sets them apart from other creatures because of their impressive size, making them the largest land-dwelling arthropod on earth. Showing off its impressive features, the coconut crab has very strong claws, which it uses to eat nuts and even other crabs. Its fierce pinchers have what it takes to easily crack open coconut shells! In addition, this curious crab weighs 10 pounds and measures 40 inches in length.
Unfortunately, coconut crabs are placed on the IUCN red list of threatened species due to over-harvesting and habit destruction. This results in why the expensive price tag on these crabs.
The Dungeness Crab (Cost $40-$45)
The coastal areas of North America and the Pacific Northwest boast a thriving population of the Dungeness Crab, which thrives throughout these regions. The living environment of these Crabs consists of areas close to the shoreline where sand or mud is present alongside eelgrass beds and other forms of submerged vegetation. Their adaptation allows them to occupy depths approximately 200 feet deep, where it feeds on worms, shrimp, and clams. For protection purposes burying themselves in sand or taking shelter within rocky crevices serves as a safe hideout for these crab species.
The distinguishing feature of these crustaceans is that their claws have snow-white endings at the tips of their pinchers. Also, the Dungeness crab has a flat-ovular body shape covered by a coppery-red shell. Furthermore, this tasty crab is famous for its mild nutty flavor and is abundantly available from November to June.
Stone Crab (Cost $70 or more)
This species of crab spans across North Carolina down to Florida before stretching out into the Gulf of Mexico region. When it comes to their preferred habitat conditions, they tend to gravitate towards waters close to oyster reefs, seagrass beds, and rock jetties. Stone crabs are relatively smaller compared to other crab species; its shell measures about 6-7 inches across in width. It boasts mighty black claw tips and a body covered in a mottled brownish color aiding in camouflaging itself amongst their environments.
This species’ bulky and juicy limbs create a stir among seafood enthusiasts. They savor this similar taste to lobster. In addition, when fishermen capture the Stone crab, they selectively remove just one or sometimes both claws before setting them free into the water. These creatures can miraculously grow back severed limbs over time.
The Alaskan Red King Crab (Cost $180)
The Alaskan red king crab lives in Arctic Sea conditions. Namely, living within the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska, making them an integral part of marine life there. This ten-legged crab weighs in at massive sizes, up to 24 pounds for male crabs, with leg spans exceeding five feet long. Females are slightly smaller than males averaging around eight pounds each. Nevertheless, they display exceptional beauty from their reddish-orange complexion covered in spiky bumps. This gives them quite a unique appearance amongst other crustacean species.
Alaskan red king crabs are a luxurious food item where gourmet lovers worldwide relish their delectable, sweet taste in dishes ranging from crab legs to crab cakes and salads. Nevertheless, their limited availability and popular demand contribute to it being pricey.
Crystal Crab (Cost $300)
Deep-sea-dwelling crystal crabs have been observed exclusively along the western coastline of Australia. Female crystal crabs occupy shallow waters from 300-400 meters deep. Meanwhile, males seem to be more prevalent in deeper waters that are beyond 800-900 meters. This species of crab displays no color pigment in its shell appearance. The reasoning behind this is that they live in the greater depths of the dark ocean where they are not exposed to light resulting in their pale white color.
Its delicious flavor comes from them living in a pristine environment with minimal pollution levels. They have a stable ecosystem supporting these succulent crabs’ healthy growth and development. Furthermore, Crystal crabs have delicate shells and produce sizable amounts of meat, which accounts for their high price.
The Giant Spider Crab (Cost up to $12,000)
The Giant Spider crab is an unusual-looking species of crustacean and one of the most expensive crabs. These crabs reside off the southern coasts of the deep oceans of Japan. A noteworthy characteristic of this type of arthropod is its expansive leg span. It encompasses an astonishing range from one claw tip to another, measuring roughly 12 feet long. These creatures can also boast a maximum shell width of 16 inches, weighing in at an impressive 42 pounds or more.
The declining population of this crab species is a major concern in current times. Thus, several approaches have been initiated to preserve their existence. For instance, restocking artificially cultured juvenile crabs in fisheries is one of the key methods being implemented. Moreover, Japan has taken noteworthy measures to curb spider crab harvesting from January through April.
Snow Crabs (Cost up to $46,000)
The snow crab is originally found in regions within the northwest Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. The unique characteristics that differentiate between Snow crab males and females are seen in their abdominal flaps. Males possess triangular ones, whereas those of the females are more broadly rounded in shape. Male snow crabs have been observed to exceed up to approximately 6 inches in shell width, while the size for grown adult females measures 3 inches at most.
Snow crabs are formidable predators with their sharp pincers and expert hunting skills. They prey on a range of sea life, including fish, shrimp, and clams. In addition, Snow crab is known for its tender meat and sweet notes present in each bite. Furthermore, Snow crabs undergo a noticeable transformation when being cooked. Its flesh changes color from red to snowy white, hence why this crustacean is called the Snow crab.
Summary Of the Top 8 Most Expensive Types of Crab
|1||Blue King Crab||$30 or more|
|4||Stone Crab||$70 or more|
|5||Alaskan Red King Crab||$180|
|7||Giant Spider Crab||up to $12,000|
|8||Snow Crab||up to $46,000|
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