What could be better than cracking into a bushel of Maryland blue crabs, washed down some delicious local beer? Sharing blue crabs with friends is one of the most fun social eating experiences you can have.
While Maryland may have made blue crabs famous, it is not the only state where they are found. Blue crabs are found from Nova Scotia to northern Argentina. However, according to the Maryland DNR, “The annual harvest of hard crabs from Chesapeake Bay accounts for over 50% of total U.S. landings”. You may be wondering what makes them taste so good here in Maryland.
Thanks to 4 seasons, Maryland blue crabs can hibernate over the winter allowing them to build up fat reserves. These fat reserves, also known as the “mustard,” give their crab meat a delicious buttery flavor that you simply won’t find in any other types of crabs.
As I write this story, I am reminded of some special memories. In our early days being a military family, we would drop crab pots by the river and catch dinner. Debbie, an Italian neighbor, taught me how to cook them in spaghetti sauce and have them over pasta. Oh my goodness, I know what I want for dinner tonight! While my taste buds have morphed a little bit over the years, I have grown to love blue crabs cooked almost any way. I love crabs steamed with a bit of Old Bay, Maryland crab soup, She Crab soup with a bit of sherry, and crab cakes too.
The main ingredient in She Crab soup are female crabs. Generally found closer to the salty waters of the ocean. Males are generally what you will find when you order them by the bushel. Male blue crabs are called Jimmys, since Jimmys come in different sizes, here information on sizing. Jimmy sizes
The peak season for Maryland Blue Crabs is from April to the end of November. However, the biggest and heaviest crabs are typically harvested during the fall months.
We hold an annual Crab Feast event in late August early September and this year will be no exception. This year’s event will be held at BayShore Campground in Rock Hall MD. For more information on upcoming crab feasts head over to our events page.
~ Michelle Almodovar | Photographer, techie, lover of nature and thrilled to be your Travel Beacon
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Thank you to my dear friend, Joanna Geroski, for sharing with me her photos of her crabbing trips!