Friday, June 26, 2009

photo friday: blue crabs

Photo Friday: An opportunity to share some of what is beautiful and wonderful about life.

I love crabs. They are probably in my top ten foods. The funny part is I don't think I had ever had steamed crabs until I was 19 years old or so. Growing up in NYC, they weren't part of our repertoire of foods. I had plenty of other great food, like knishes, stuffed grape leaves and salami to die for but New Yorkers don't do crabs, at least not when they are in New York.

Crabs in Maryland are just not crabs; they are Maryland Blue Crabs (although sometimes they are Louisiana Blue Crabs or South Carolina Blue Crabs, depending on how the season is going). I know locals who swear they can tell which river the crabs were caught in. I'm not so sure about that, but I do know a good crab when I taste one.

When I first learned about Blue Crabs, I wondered why they are called that since they are obviously red. That's because I had only seen them just before I was ready to dig in. Blue Crabs really are blue before they are steamed (sorta like how lobsters aren't red either until they are cooked).

What makes crabs even more delicious is Old Bay seasoning. Old Bay was born in Baltimore and is as Maryland as the Chesapeake Bay. I think you could put Old Bay on anything and I would eat it. I am of the apple cider vinegar and Old Bay school of eating crabs. I like to dip the meat in vinegar and then dredge it in Old Bay. Yum-o.

There is an art to picking and eating crabs. This truly separates the casual crab eater from the die hard. Many people find it too messy or cumbersome to pick the meat. (These are the folks who eat only claws or even just crab cakes.) I approach it like a reward for my efforts. I am a patient person. There are always rewards for enduring.

We had crabs for Father's day. This is one of our family traditions. Countrymouse's perfect day is a day at the beach followed by lots of crabs (and other food) and beer. It's an easy day to plan and every single one of us looks forward to it, so it's always a hit.

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