Entries in Southern food (2)


Crab Shala

When ever I mention crab shala, to even my most knowledgeable foodie friends, I always get puzzled looks.

I grew up in Florida but now live in New England. I love the seafood here - lobsters, clams, cod and oysters. In Florida we ate different local seafoods:, gulf shrimp, grouper and blue crabs.

When I was young, I would catch blue crabs in the canal near my home. In fact many of my family’s outings involved crabbing in other areas, mostly sea walls, docks and piers. You tie a piece of fish or chicken neck to a string; drop it along the sea wall, when you feel a tug you’ve got a crab. The crab usually stays clawed to your bait while you pull up the string, as soon as you see the crab hanging on to your string you scoop it up with a long handled crab net. We always kept going until we had a couple of buckets full of crabs.

Crab shala is a regional dish, from what I understand – is usually only seen in the coastal areas of Florida.   Every family has their its own special recipe, but they always involves pieces of blue crab, shell and all, tomato sauce and lots of green bell pepper.

My family served ours over spaghetti. It’s a dish that’s best eaten outside, at least the way I remember eating it, cracking those shells, tomato sauce flying, sucking the meat from the shells and the sauce, simmered low and slow with all those crabs. All I can say is…………Culinary Heaven!



It makes me happy to be able to buy peaches at the market. I can't wait for the local ones. That reminds me that it's been a long time since I've made my Southern treat, baked chicken and peaches.