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Eastern Shore Seafood Recipes
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Crab-ology For Cuisine
Atlantic Blue Crab - Callinectes sapidus which means beautiful, savory swimmer. The most popular and prolific crab found around the Eastern Shore. Live to about 4 years of age.

Backfin - the rear swimming fin of the crab. Also the large chunk of meat from the rear portion of the crab body.
Backfin Lump - Mix of jumbo lump and special body meat. Good for crab cakes.

Buckram- crab with leathery shell approximately 12-20 hours after molting and paper shell stage.

Buster - crab in advanced stage of molting, wherein the old hard shell (exoskeleton) has cracked prior to shedding.
Claw - meat from the claws of the crab. Sweet and good for soup and dips.

Dead Man's Fingers - the gray colored gills of the crab. Edible, but poor taste and texture. Remove gills during crab cleaning.

Doubler - mating crabs with male carrying soft shell female that has just completed last molt.

Hard Crab - crab with fully hardened shell, which occurs about 4 days after shedding (molt).

photo Jimmy Crab - male crab, distinguished by a T-shape on its underside (resembles Washington Monument).

Jumbo Lump - the large chunks of crab meat from the back portion of the crab body.

Molt - process by which a crab grows larger by shedding its exoskeleton. Male crabs shed their entire lives, while females shed only until sexual maturity, after about 20 times over 3- 4 years.

Mustard - yellow substance inside cooked crab which is actually the pancreas. Edible, but not recommended, since it can contain filtered water related contaminants.

Paper Shell - Recently shed crab approximately 9-12 hour after molting, with a stiff shell.

Peeler Crab - hard crab ready to shed/molt its shell for growth. Red sign on rear flipper indicates crab is ready to shed soon.

Sally crab - an immature female.

Soft Shell Crab - a crab immediately after shedding its old shell. New shell is soft and pliable. Sold as a soft crab product.

Sook - a mature female distinguished by its bell shaped bottom shell apron. Apron resembles dome of US Capital building.
Sponge Crab - a female carrying egg mass on its underside. Illegal to harvest.

Special - grade of good meat from the body of the crab. Great for dips, soups, or stuffing.
  • #1 Blue Crabs - meaning they are the largest size male crabs available.
  • #2 Blue Crabs - meaning they are smaller size males and/or females, but acceptable.
 
The Old Standards - Maryland Crab Recipes
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