The Anguilla Crayfish: Next of Kin

People around the world use the word “crayfish” to refer to a variety of small freshwater crustaceans, so it should come as no surprise that Anguilla’s waters carry a creature of the same name. Locals and tourists alike enjoy its succulent flavor, and crayfish can make a tasty lunch ($10) or a rare delicacy ($45), depending on the place.

Smaller than the spiny lobsters you’ll see on most Caribbean menus, a crayfish can be any one of a number of species of clawless lobsters that populate the local waters. These 8-inch critters can be found all around the Caribbean region, but we’re particularly fond of them in Anguilla. Because there is no good or bad season for fishing them, crayfish are available year round.

So, should you put one on your plate while you’re here? Less adventurous visitors who order a Spotted Spiny Lobster or Guinea Chick Lobster at a restaurant won’t be disappointed, but if you want to taste something like nothing else, order a crayfish. Every year, eager “crayfish converts” go home and rave about the flavor, sweeter and more tender than lobster.

In Anguilla, you can find crayfish are everywhere from top-notch restaurants to beach shacks and roadside BBQs. At the Straw Hat Restaurant, it comes drizzles in ginger vinaigrette; others prepare it with fries, rice and peas, or Johnny Cakes. Which recipe will be your favorite?

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