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, buttery 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. Fortunately, the crab season is shaping up well this spring and lots of crab houses and seafood companies have just what you need in stock.
The mild winter prevented many crabs from dying this season, which means more
crabs for the consumer. Customers can treat themselves to a half a dozen crabs, a bushel or anywhere in between at crab houses in Pikesville and Owings Mills
or decades, the Pikes Cinema Bar and Grill, known as “The Pikes,” has been the only business that sells steamed crabs year round in Pikesville, said owner Will Reich.
“We get crabs from Texas and Louisiana out of season and crabs locally when they are in season,” he said. Will orders, steams and sells
his crabs daily so they are fresh for his customers.
In Owings Mills, CJ’s Restaurant has served up live and steamed crabs for more than 30 years. This popular seafood house offers crabs that are shipped from Louisiana and caught locally. President and co-owner Terry Sanders said he believes the secret to his business’s success is its spice blend and cooking technique.
“It’s our own custom blend of seasoning,” said Terry. “And we don’t pre-steam; everything is fresh. Some businesses pre-steam their crabs because they don’t want them to die before they can use them. We take our chances and buy our crabs a day ahead of time.
—by Heather Vecchioni | Contributing Writer