Thursday night we had our first crabs of the season - and, man, were they good! For those of you reading this from a location other than Maryland, you may not be familiar with what I mean when I say crabs. Like I was prior to MD, you may THINK I mean crab legs - the type you get at Red Lobster when you really splurge - the kind you dip in butter and crack with the frustrating metal cracker thing. But that's not at all what I'm talking about.
Allow me to introduce the blue crab.
Who looks like this once he's cooked:
I think one of the biggest adjustments I had to make when moving to MD was the eating of crabs and the shock of how barbaric the whole affair is to an outsider. Now, I accept the task of gutting and eating the suckers with glee, but I have to admit, it's still pretty gross when you really think about it. We use wooden mallets and knives and eat on butcher paper with big mugs of beer and ears of corn. Then we rip off the legs, break open the shells, remove lungs, intestines and "mustard" or fat and then pick the meat out. (some people eat the mustard by the way - ick) It all kind of takes you back to biology class. =)
I've included a set of instructions with pictures to give you a better idea.
*For the record... I DON'T eat the females. I stick with everyone else's notion that they taste different. Something about scraping out the eggs just icks me out every single time. Ewwww..