Coming to the coast in the summer means you smell the ocean air and all the salt and sand around it. But it’s also time to grab your mallets and buckets because summer means it’s time for a crab feast. Let’s learn more about the crabs that are Maryland’s pride and joy.
Crabs in Maryland
Blue crabs aren’t unique creatures. They can be found in Nova Scotia and Uruguay. But one of Maryland’s proudest icons has always been the blue crab. Around half of all the blue crabs harvested in the United States hail from Maryland, particularly in the Chesapeake Bay. along with oysters and rockfish, blue crabs are almost revered in the state. Compared to other types of crabs from other parts of the world, the blue crab has the best flavor. Crabs hibernate during the cold season and all of that extra fat they hold onto adds to the flavor that they have once they are cooked and prepared for a crab feast. The fat inside the crabs is called the mustard, and it is one of the ways to tell if the crab you’re eating is from Maryland or not.
Soft Shell Crabs
Soft shell crabs are also delicious and are easy to put on a sandwich roll because you don’t have to worry about cracking through the shell to get to the meat underneath it. But they’re called soft shell crabs because they have recently molted, so they don’t have much shell to speak of at the moment. Only the gills and some parts of the abdomen are removed. This means that you can go to town when you eat them. These crabs are fried or sautéed before they are served. You don’t have to eat them on bread, either, since a knife and fork will do the trick.
The season for hard shell crabs starts in April and ends in December. The summer months, June through August, are the traditional times to eat crabs, but by waiting until the early fall, you get the biggest crabs for the cheapest prices. If you’re in the mood for soft shell crabs, though, now is the time to get them.
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