You might be a Marylander if your first thought when the temperatures rise and the days become longer is crabs. Smothered in Old Bay or other seasoning of your choice, steamed blue crabs are a must-have for parties, weekends and basically, any time or day of the week. Most Marylanders and seafood aficionados agree that blue crabs are far superior to other types. The meat’s sweet taste and soft texture sets them apart from other species of crabs. Their unique flavor is likely due to the different seasons the crabs experience in the Chesapeake Bay, living in cold water that then changes to warm.
Their amazing flavor is also attributed to hibernation and the fat that crabs store during that long rest. It gives them a buttery taste that is distinct and unforgettable. Fortunately, the crab season is shaping up well this spring. The mild winter prevented many crabs from dying this season, which means more crabs for the consumer.
Wild Seafood at 7901 Oceano Ave. in Jessup serves up crabs to those living in the Jessup, Ellicott City and Columbia areas all year long. Selling about 100 bushels each week, this crab house credits its special seasoning and steaming technique for its popularity among locals.
“Everyone seems to like my homemade seasoning that we’ve used for years, and my technique,” said general manager Dave Webb. “Some people steam the crabs for too long, and when they are steamed too long the meat sticks to the shell. I’ve been steaming for over 40 years, so I know exactly how longto steam them.”
Wild Seafood gets its crabs locally during the Maryland crab season. Crabs are delivered from Louisiana and Texas in the winter. Customers are able to purchase crabs in just about any quantity, ranging from half a dozen to a few bushels.
If you’re thinking about having a crab feast, Dave has a few pieces of advice.
“You want cold beer and hot, steamed crabs fresh out of the pot,” he said. “Throw some corn on the cob in the husk on top of the crabs, put some seasoning on it, and you’ve got a feast.”
by Heather Vecchioni | Contributing Writer