FLAVOURS OF CORNWALL: CORNISH CRAB

PUBLISHED: 16:25 09 March 2016 | UPDATED: 12:41 30 August 2017

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© sean gee 2014

HEAD to the North Cornwall fishing village of Boscastle and discover hand-picked Cornish crab served by the Crab Dog

HEAD to the North Cornwall fishing village of Boscastle and discover hand-picked Cornish crab with proper mayonnaise, marinated red onion, lemon zest and cayenne pepper in a warm brioche roll served by the Crab Dog.

Or, you could opt for Cornwall’s answer to a Maine Lobster Roll: a top-sliced and side-toasted brioche overflowing with lobster meat dressed with delicious mayonnaise, lime, finely chopped celery and sprinkled with cayenne pepper to taste.

Whichever you choose, the crab and lobster on your plate will have been landed by Beeny, the 33-foot vessel that’s helping to keep Boscastle’s fishing tradition alive.

Owners Dan Clague and David Evans were inspired to set up The Boscastle Fishing Company in 2005 - the year after the flood of 2004 dumped tons of water on the village. Boscastle had been an important fishing port in the past and, given Cornwall’s amazing seafaring tradition, both founders felt it was sad to see the numbers of local fishing boats dwindling. Dan and David bought their first boat, the Edward J, and a few lobster pots and went into partnership with Scott Washer, a local skipper who learned his trade at the nearby fishing community of Port Isaac.

It soon became apparent, in the immortal phrase, that Scott was gonna need a bigger boat,’ jokes Dan. In the end Beeny was tailor-made for the Boscastle harbour approach by local boat builders, GB Smith and Sons, just down the coast at Rock.

Like generations before, Beeny lands her catch on the village quay, and from there it travels a total of about a hundred yards to the Rocket Store, the Boscastle Fishing Company’s latest venture in an historic building belonging to the National Trust which once housed lifesaving equipment and now hosts the storage tanks for the boat’s primary catch of lobster and crab. Visitors can buy generously loaded crab sandwiches, or buy crab or lobster, either live or dressed, along with the crab dogs and lobster rolls. A small deli section also has everything you’d need to cook up a seafood feast.

It’s really important to us that Boscastle is once again an active fishing port selling its own catch,’ says Rachel Hellyer-Jones who manages the Rocket Store.

What they don’t sell in the Rocket Store goes to restaurants in Cornwall, including Number 6 in Padstow, Cracking Crab in Polzeath and Boscastle’s own Wellington Hotel. It even travels as far as London, where the famous Welsh chef Bryn Williams uses it in his top London restaurant, Odette’s.

Boscastle is one of the most dramatic parts of the North Cornwall coastline,’ adds Rachel. Situated on the South West Coast Path, it has all kinds of interesting independent shops and even a museum of witchcraft.’

So on your next visit to this beauty spot, don’t settle for a pasty: head along the harbour where you can see history in the re-making – and sink your teeth into the country’s finest crab dog. boscastlefishingcompany.com

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