Bahamian Lobster On The Menu

Wednesday 10th, August 2011 / 08:23 Published by

You know it’s been a good day on the water when John Ciulla can make fresh lobster tacos at home for dinner. Then again, it’s a good day on the water a lot during Florida lobster season. Ciulla goes diving about three times a week during the season, which began Saturday and goes through March 31.

That means a whole lot of fresh, plump lobster-tail meat, much of which ends up seasoned with a little chili powder and sautéed in herb butter and a touch of tequila, then nestled in warm tortilla shells with mango, fresh lettuce and tomatoes.

A longtime spear fisherman and diver, Ciulla is a cook-your-catch kind of guy. His ocean-to-table philosophy is at the root of his popular Clematis Street eatery, Bahama Mama’s. (He put the tacos on the menu after watching his brother scarf down seven of them.)

During lobster season, Ciulla ventures a mile or two off the coast in his 23-foot Hydra-Sports boat and dives 60 to 110 feet for the clawless crustaceans.

In Bahamian waters, he catches the same Caribbean spiny lobster as he does in Florida, and puts the tails to delicious use back home. One of his favorite dishes, minced Bahamian lobster, is a signature dish at his restaurant as well. It’s a flavorful saute of lobster with bell peppers, Spanish onions, diced tomato in pomace oil and butter, with a kick of thyme and crushed chili pepper.

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