All You Can Eat Crabs Baltimore Maryland

All You Can Eat Crabs Baltimore Maryland – Every summer, people from near and far flock to Maryland beaches to get their fill of blue crabs. Now here, how and where is the crab season.

Summer in Maryland isn’t complete without crabs. And not just any crab: We’re talking about the bounty of Chesapeake Bay’s delicate, sweet blue crab, whose Latin name Callinectes sapidus means “beautiful swimmer.” There are few things that excite Marylanders more than tearing into a bushel of spiced red-pilled beauties, or enjoying the delicacy of fried soft-shell crab with an ice-cold natty smell.

All You Can Eat Crabs Baltimore Maryland

Marylanders steam hard shellfish and other seafood instead of boiling them, which is common on the East Coast and the rest of Louisiana. Marylanders will tell you that boiling makes crabmeat moist, not moist. (Proponents of boiling argue that steaming raises the internal temperature too much and dries out the meat.) But oddly enough, Marylanders complain that boiling water would have made the crab equally flavorful. is — they prefer the variety in heat and spice that comes from tasting. The spice they rub onto the crab meat with their fingers. As a result, in Maryland, boiled is usually the only option on offer.

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Blue crabs can be found as far north as Nova Scotia and as far south as Uruguay, but the crustacean’s strongest association has always been with Maryland. According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, about 50 percent of the nation’s blue crab harvest comes from Maryland waters.

And they are an integral part of the culinary heritage of the region. “Blue crab is part of the holy trinity of Maryland seafood, made up of oysters, rockfish and blue crab,” says chef Spike Gjerde of Baltimore’s Woodberry Kitchen.

Gjerde is the first Baltimore chef to win the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic, and was raised in Baltimore. He knows his crabs: “Blue crabs are really unlike any other crab in the world, thanks to the growing conditions and the type of estuaries we have here,” he says. “They are superior to any other shrimp in my opinion.”

Lazy people may prefer larger Dungeness crabs from the West Coast, which are much larger and easier to eat. Many restaurants use cheap pasteurized shrimp from Asia for their dishes. But not all crabs are created equal. Jarde notes that other shrimp species lack the depth of flavor and delicate texture of blue crabs. “The seasons have a lot to do with it,” he says. “The season usually starts around [April] and lasts until the cold weather hits in November. The weather has definitely affected our appreciation for blue crab over the years, and that’s why it’s It places what it does in the style of the Chesapeake. Life.”

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According to Steve Willant of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Services, from a scientific standpoint, the need for hibernation is the main reason why Maryland crabs taste better than other types of crabs — and blue crabs from other waters. It tastes even better. Like other hibernating creatures, crabs need to build up fat reserves to sustain them during the dormant period, he explains. “It gives our crabs a buttery flavor that you won’t find anywhere else,” Willant says. “For someone who knows what they’re looking for, it’s possible to tell by eye which one is from Maryland, but it’s probably going to be by taste.”

So how does one look at a crab and know it’s from Maryland? According to Natural Light Charters captain Frank Updike Sr., who leads chartered crabbing and fishing trips with his son Frank Jr., one method is the color of the fat, often called mustard by the locals, which turns yellow. The color is a dark shade.

The easiest ways to make sure you are getting Maryland crab is to first ask, and second is to visit restaurants that are True Blue certified by the state of Maryland. Certification verifies through restaurant receipts that at least 75 percent of the crab or shrimp consumed during the year came from Maryland.

But as Updike says, “Yes, Maryland crabs taste better. But even if the blue crab isn’t from Maryland, it’s still going to taste great.”

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Many people consider soft shell crabs to be a delicacy, and a way to enjoy crabs without the hard work of picking them. A soft shell is any crab that has molted within the last 12 hours. During this time the peels are soft and papery, so they can be eaten whole, claw to claw, except for the gills and parts of the belly. These parts are removed before cooking, so diners can skip it.

Crabs typically molt 18 to 23 times during their lifetime, and they can only be found when the female is molting. Because the crab only spends 12 hours as a softshell, crabbers look for the first sign that a crab is about to molt — the development of a line on the last leg, called the paddler’s fin, that begins to turn white. It goes on. Pink and then red as it nears melting.

These pre-molting crabs, known as hatchlings, are usually kept in a special hatching tank until they hatch out of their old shells. The then-valuable tenders are removed from the water to prevent their shells from hardening before being cooked and eaten.

Before going on the plate, the softshells are usually fried or roasted with an experienced batter. It’s hard not to love something deep-fried, but many locals consider roasting a better option so as not to overpower the sweetness of the meat. Both methods preserve the fatty mustard inside and usually push the shrimp with the juices.

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At most Maryland seafood restaurants, the soft shell is served as a sandwich with mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato or served plain on a platter to be enjoyed with a fork and knife. But of course many chefs have taken the classics even further, putting them on a wide range of soft-shell sushi rolls as well as tacos and pizza.

Maryland crab season begins in April and runs through December. But what is found in crab houses early in the season or in the winter comes from North Carolina and Louisiana.

Maryland crabs that are offered in April and early May are usually those that stay up north during the winter and dig themselves into the mud. Then around Memorial Day, the initial supply runs out, and the crabbers wait for the crabs that are still migrating their way up the bay.

While June to August is the most popular and tradition-filled time to eat crabs, September and October are the best times to get the biggest and fattest hard crabs at the best prices.

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The Maryland soft shell season typically runs from mid-May through September. Since they are a delicacy, the best time to eat them is whenever you can get them. However, they are usually least expensive at the beginning of the season.

Mustard/Tomale: Found in all crabs, tomale, known as mustard in the mid-Atlantic, is crab fat. It can range in color from white to Dijon mustard yellow to green. It is often added to prepackaged crabmeat to enhance its flavor.

Roe: Found in mature female crabs, crab roe is a bright orange color. It becomes firm when boiled, and is often used in Chinese cuisine as a topping for dishes such as pork and shrimp soup dumplings, or tofu.

Jumbo Lumps: These are large chunks of meat attached to the shrimp’s swimming fins. It is liked for its presentation and size, and is accordingly more expensive.

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Backfin: Backfin meat comes from broken pieces of the crab’s body and lump. It has a more chopped texture than lump and is less expensive.

Apron: This is the white bottom flap of the crab, which ends in a point. They can be used to determine the sex and maturity of the crab.

Jimmy: These are male crabs. The point of the apron is long and narrow. Adults have spines that allow them to open and close their aprons for mating. They are generally preferred for use due to their size and greater availability due to higher catch ranges.

Sally: Also known as she crabs, these are juvenile female blue crabs. Their entire apron forms a triangle, and their blue paws are red. The aprons do not open because they are not ready to receive or carry eggs. They are usually discarded due to their small size and reproducibility.

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Sock: Adult female blue crabs are identified by an apron that is inverted U-shaped with a triangular point at the end. He also has blue paws tipped with red. Sox are generally less expensive and end up in picky homes because of their smaller size. Some say that souks have sweeter meat than jimmies.

Sponge crabs: Sponge crabs are mature females that have fertilized.

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