Blue Crab Anatomy - learn the different parts of the blue crab.
Blue Crab Identification - How to tell the males from the females, and more facts about blue crabs.
How to Shell and Eat Crabs - Marylanders are born with the crab gene, but for those who transplant into the state here are some tips to help you look like a natural-born pro at the table.
The Maryland Blue Crab - The blue crab's scientific name translates as "beautiful swimmer that is savory." Blue crab meat sometimes is compared to the sweetness of lobster meat; the flavor best appreciated by cracking and eating steamed hard-shells or feasting on soft-shells. Crab is prepared in restaurant and home kitchens in innumerable ways: steamed or sautéed, as Maryland Crab Cakes and Crab Imperial, or in crab soup and crab dip.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources: Blue Crab Facts - Facts, figures and interesting information about the blue crab.
- are about to "peel" their hard outer shell. The paper-thin new shell makes the crab very easy to eat, providing a delicacy to diners without the work of picking the sweet, white meat from a typically hard shell.
- Pink Sign
- is a pink dot that appears on a crab's back fin about a week before it begins to molt. It is the appearance of a new shell inside the one the crab is about to shed.
- describes a crab that is emerging from its old shell.
- have emerged from their old shells and now have a very thin, soft shell. Soft-shells are delicacies that are eagerly awaited by crab lovers each season. Soft-shell season is marked by the first full moon in May. It continues through early fall.
- crabs are soft-shells whose shells have stiffened some.
- crabs are at a stage following paper-shell when the shell is starting to harden but is still pliable.
- have hardened shells, usually within 4 days after shedding.
- Sponge Crab
- is a female crab that has an egg mass on her abdomen. Sponge crabs cannot be harvested so as to ensure many productive crab harvests in the future.
- is a crab that is big enough to keep, usually at least 5 inches.
- Doublers (also Buck and Rider)
- are two mating crabs, moving as a unit, with the male above and female below.
- is the art of eating a steamed hard-shell crab.
- are the largest pieces of meat from the body, adjacent to the backfin. The most expensive form of crabmeat.
- is the white body meat including lump and large flakes. Used for crab cakes and crab imperial.
- are flakes of white body meat other than lump. Good for crab cakes, soups, casseroles and dips.
- Claw meat
- is brownish meat from the claws. Best for soups and dips, its the least expensive type of crab meat.