It’s been a long hard winter for small boat fishermen. Bad weather has delayed the start of the crab and lobster season. Setting the pots in the water is a nightmare when windy weather disrupts the currents in the small bays where Ireland’s crab and lobster are caught. We were lucky enough recently to taste the first crab of the season in a beautiful lunch salad special at Café Nutshell in New Ross, Co. Wexford. The catch followed a couple of days of calm weather in the locality. Nutshell’s crabs are hand prepared by a local lady who has been doing it for years – she’s somewhat of an expert at this stage. So you get beautiful claw meat and fine flakes of white meat with no shell in the mix. What a treat. Although there are about 4000 types of crab in the oceans of the world, the common one we know is the Brown Crab. These monsters can weigh in at up to 5kgs. Usual catches would be smaller, and they yield sweet white crab meat for all sorts of recipes. We are told by local fisherman in West Cork, that the summer crab and lobster season will soon be in full swing. You wouldn’t think so, looking outside at the bucketing rain falling as we write! Something to look forward to though. A sunny day, a glass of crisp white wine and a crab salad to savour. Café Nutshell is ahead of the game! This pretty café is now also open Mondays again after the short weeks of winter. Has anyone else out there had fresh crab recently – we’d like to know where?