the blue claw crabs (Callinectes Sapidus) are found near our home
in the Great South Bay and contributing estuaries such as the
Carman's River, they are harvested commercially along the entire
East Coast from the Gulf of Mexico to the Mid-Atlantic states.
They are especially renown in the Chesapeake Bay of Maryland and
Virginia, hence the fame of Maryland crab cakes.
Blue crabs are generally caught in baited "crab pots" during the
late summer months. But crabs are easily caught with
patience, a chicken neck on a string and a crab net even by little
children. When the children were young, we kept a stock of
frozen raw chicken necks in the freezer, and a crab net in the
garage. Females are distinguished by wide "aprons" on the
belly and red tips on their claws. Males claws have the blue
coloring without the red tips, and a narrow inverted T apron on
their belly. They are also usually larger. Some
advocate returning the females to the water to encourage
reproduction. Fresh crabs should be steamed live until they
turn red-orange before extracting meat—like lobster.
Fortunately, blue crab meat is typically also sold in one-pound
containers in three forms:
Watch with Rolex replica watches oyster-style watch all the features, the case used in the replica watches uk eternal rose gold rolex patent rolex replica metal materials, and ordinary rose replica watches gold because of the different components to achieve a lasting metal color retention.
jumbo lump - which has the largest pieces with little shell,
backfin - large white pieces of crab meat from the backfin
cavity, the pieces are smaller than jumbo lump and
claw meat which is darker, sweet and rich in flavor.
Sadly, it's a bit pricey (in 2010, it was priced at $13/lb. at the
local super market), especially when compared with a chicken
neck, string, and patience.
My ex-wife was a Marylander. I indicated earlier that I
could not locate her recipe for the original version, but
remembered that it was nearly the same as the one that follows, adapted from
a cook book put together by the Women's Auxiliary of Seven Lakes,
North Carolina, which became the retirement home of my aunt
Margaret and uncle Bill in the 1970s, and was among my mother's
collection of cook books. Recently I rediscovered my
version (probably her mother's), and it differed in only a few
respects, which are enclosed in brackets below. She called
it "Imperial crab," which I understand is what Eastern Shore
Marylanders called their crab cakes. She indicated that it
was usually baked in greased crab shells (or alternately, use
cupcake papers), but for us she usually just served it as a plain
old delicious cake.