This past weekend while in Ocean City, I enjoyed one of the Eastern Shores delicacies; “The Blue Crab”. It can be enjoyed in many ways such as crab dip, imperial, soup, fritters, cakes, even salads but I enjoy it most in its original form, steamed with lots of Old Bay. It is messy and time-consuming but if you have never had this Maryland staple, it’s well worth trying. I wanted to share with you what I think is the best way to enjoy this meal:
First, pull off all of the legs and the claws. Then pull the tab back and this will help you pull of the top of the crab. Just to let you know, the male crab has a "tab" which looks like the 'Washington Monument' as opposed to a female crab which has a tab that looks like the US Capitol. At this point you are almost there. I usually take a knife and cut off the lungs or “devils fingers”, don’t eat them (I was always told they would make you sick)! Now you want to clean out anything that is in the cavity and if you want, there is something that looks like mustard inside. Try it if you haven’t but don’t worry if you don’t like it, not everyone does. Then break the crab in half and work on one side at a time. I have found if I break it in half again the meat comes out easier. While doing this, make sure you watch out for shells. Now comes the hard decision and there are many ways this is done. Some say that you just eat the meat plain as it comes out, others dip in melted butter or vinegar and then there are people like me who pick their crabmeat into a bowl and then sprinkle with vinegar and enjoy all at once!
So if you have not tried this Maryland treat when you travel to Ocean City make sure you stop at one of the many places that serve this tasty seafood. I like Hooper’s Crab House next to the Route 50 Bridge in West Ocean City. They have a great all you can eat with sweet corn!