For those of you that are aware of the awesomeness that is soft shell crab, you are probably in the know that it is soft shell crab season!  For those of you that have never experienced a soft shell crab, you have not yet fully lived life!

Soft shell crabs are in season from late May to early September with August being peak season for these delectable crustaceans.  What is a soft shell crab you ask? A soft shell crab is actually just a blue crab which is in its molting state that has shed its shell to grow a new one as it gets bigger.


These soft shell delicacies come in all sizes and are categorized with different names which identify the consumer to their size. When determining the size one should measure the crab from point to point on the body. The categories of the different sizes are:

  • Mediums - 3 1/2 - 4 Inches
  • Hotels - 4 - 4 1/2 Inches
  • Primes - 4 1/2 - 5 Inches
  • Jumbos - 5 - 5 1/2 Inches
  • Whales - Over 5 1/2 Inches

Soft shell crabs have many different preparations in which they can be cooked.  Probably the most popular and the crowd favorite at Duval's is simply pan frying them.  With a simple seasoned flour breading the sweet, tangy, and tender meat of this fresh seafood becomes the star of the show! 

The Chef tends to feature these seasonal sensations at lunch as a sandwich but also has creative preparations for dinner as well. Right now he has beautiful fresh Whale soft shell crabs that he is creating a stunning sandwich with.  The sandwich feature the soft shell crab, smoky rajun-cajun remoulade, juicy roma tomato, and crisp napa cabbage on a crunchy fresh baked French baguette.


Next time you are in Downtown Sarasota, stop in to Duval's and experience these simply delicious soft shells before they vanish until next season!