ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) There it was, an enormous, reddish-orange beast with gangly legs up to 11 inches long. Alaskan king crab is both beautiful and coveted by seafood lovers.
The best meat is in the legs.
According to Alaska Fish and Game, red king crabs were historically the most commercially important shellfish species in Alaska. Since statehood in 1959, U.S. fishers have harvested nearly 2 billion pounds of red king crab worth $1.6 billion from Alaska waters. The female crabs grow to 10.5 pounds while the males get even bigger at 24 pounds with and leg span of five feet. The spiny round bodies appear dark red, almost burgundy in color.
King crab, is king in Alaska.
"Alaskans like their seafood," Rob Winfree with 10th & M Seafoods (1020 M St.) said, "we like to share it with everybody else around the world."
For Winfree's crew, that means shipping about 20,000 pounds of crab outside for the Christmas holiday.
He recommends about a pound and a half of crab, per person if it's the main course.
"Oh rich, succulent, with drawn butter," Winfree said describing the taste of king crab, "happiness."
With a little more than a week left before Christmas don't freak out, there is still plenty of time left to send delicious treats to friends and family in the Lower 48.
Seth Stetson the director of marketing and business development for Kaladi Brothers Coffee said plenty of people will be slipping Kaladi's coffee under the Christmas tree this year.
The Anchorage roaster said about 20,000 pounds of Kaladi's coffee has been ordered and shipped for the holiday.
"It's the most ordered things we're seeing," Stetson said, "second would be mugs and brewing equipment."
The Alaska Wild Berry Products shop (5225 Juneau St.) is another popular Alaskan food to ship, (my dad's a big fan of the fireweed jelly).
There's also Tilgner's Ruby Red Cold Smoked Salmon (tilgnerssmokedfish.com), Evie's Brinery, which sells fermented sauerkrauts and kimchi made with Alaska-grown vegetables (eviesbrinery.com) and Alaska Sausage and Seafood, (alaskasausage.com) if you want to show your Alaska-street cred by ending your family sausages made with reindeer meat.
See, there are tons of uniquely Alaskan foods you can give (or buy for yourself) as presents. Enjoy a taste of Alaska!