3030 Riva Road, Riva, MD 21140     410-956-2784



Peelers
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.


Busting
describes a crab that is emerging from its old shell.


Soft-shells
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.


Paper-shell
crabs are soft-shells whose shells have stiffened some.


Buckram
crabs are at a stage following paper-shell when the shell is starting to harden but is still pliable.


Hard-shells
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.


Keeper
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.


Picking
is the art of eating a steamed hard-shell crab.

Lump
are the largest pieces of meat from the body, adjacent to the backfin. The most expensive form of crabmeat.


Backfin
is the white body meat including lump and large flakes. Used for crab cakes and crab imperial.


Special
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.