Growing up in Alabama, I had easy access to some of the world’s most delicious seafood. When I moved away from Birmingham to Mobile after high school, I had even easier access to the world’s most delicious seafood. Whenever I could I’d drive over to the causeway and eat at the restaurants along the Bay. Whenever I would have friends or family in town, we’d drive over to the Bay and eat seafood.
Heck, being so close to the shores, we’d sometimes even head over to Florida, Mississippi, or Louisiana. One of the best meals I ever had was at the Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Speaking of New Orleans, I had the pleasure last weekend of attending the Seafood Sustainability Blog Conference, put on by the Sustainable Seafood Blog Project that was held at the Maison Dupuy in the French Quarter. I learned so much about aquaculture and sustainability. I even ate my very first oyster, which is one of the most sustainable seafood products. Side note: did you know that 90% of shrimp is imported in the US? What’s even more disturbing is that only 1% of imported shrimp is tested, and of that 1%, 30% is found to be unsafe.
So how do you know if the seafood you’re purchasing is sustainable? Ask your fishmonger! Don’t have a fishmonger? Check the packaging. If it’s sustainable, you should see an image like this.
Still a wee bit confused? If you have a Whole Foods, get your seafood there. Whole Foods only sells sustainable seafood. You know what you’re getting, and you know that the seafood you buy isn’t harming the environment or other ecosystems.
Now back to the West Indies Salad. West Indies Salad actually originates from Mobile, and dates back to the 1940s. Whenever my mom would come visit me, we’d head on over to the Bay. We’d always get the West Indies Salad as an appetizer. It’s a nice memory. It’s also a tasty memory. West Indies Salad is lumb crab meat that’s been marinated for around 6 hours. That’s literally all it is. West Indies Salad is light and refreshing, and so simplistic. A perfect alternative to fried calamari..or fried shrimp..or anything heavy. Serve the salad with some crackers and you’ve got yourself one heck of a plate. You are supposed to use lump crab meat for this recipe..but I say use whatever crab you want.
- 1 lb lump crab meat
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- slightly less than 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup iced cold water
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
- Toss gently.
- Cover and marinate in fridge for 6 hours.
- Toss gently, then serve with crackers.
- Use whatever crab you can find.