Now, this isn't your average crayfish that you may think of; its way bigger and so much tastier. Think a delicate blend between lobster and shrimp with a slight touch of sweetness and you have red claw. They are often locally called a yabby, and offer a more sustainable delicacy than most shellfish.
The set up that Queensland Rail organized was led by the owners of Cherax Park, a local farm that produces the red claw. Peter and Ethel were happy to come down the the rail station and cook up some of their stock for right on the platform. We sampled red claws two different ways, a crumbed and fried tail section and a spring roll loaded with crayfish meat. Both were so delicious, that we decided to buy some to sample at home.
The entire farm is a complete environmentally sustainable way to eat off the land. the couple build terraced ponds that self irrigate and then offer an ideal ecosystem to grow the clawed friends for a bi-monthly harvest. To maintain the numbers of shellfish, the ponds that house the younger animals have freshwater barramundi to feed on the young. This allows for a complete cycle of life with very little waste.
The best thing? These little buggers are self harvesting, with a garden hose to simulate raining, the crayfish jump 'upstream' into buckets and prepare to cooked. In all, the farm yields about 500 kg, approx. 1100 lbs, per harvest. Additionally, the shelling process doesn't produce much waste either since they are currently being sent to research possible pharmaceutical benefits. When it comes to eating food, it only becomes more delicious when we know it satisfies more than just our bellies.
If you'd like to share some of your foreign grocery finds, we'd love love love to see them. Send 'em on over via email here and snack on, my friends.
Peter showing our chef how to prepare the red claw
Ethel's spread of crumbed red claw tails and red claw spring rolls
Disclaimer: We traveled as a guest of Queensland Rail, though all of our photos and opinions are our own.