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In Maryland, picking crab with friends and family is a way of life. People have their own traditions revolving around a Labor Day crab feast. Some go to the seafood market and pick up a bushel of blues for steaming. Others like to take it easy on their day off and pick up crabs already perfectly steamed from The Crab Shack.
A Maryland crab feast has its own distinctive traditions. There’s a certain approach in order to do it right. The feast must involve cracking crab with newspaper lining the tables. The crab is steamed, not boiled. Ice cold beer and sides of corn or hush puppies will be served to the guests.
A feast serving up Maryland blue crab (Callinectes sapidus, translated from the Latin scientific name meaning “savory beautiful swimmers”) is a unique experience. It will be delicious, but messy, so do not wear white. Work will be required with mallets to get to the tasty meat, but it will be certainly worth the effort.
There are many reasons why Maryland blue crab from the Chesapeake Bay is the best. Its meat has a delicacy, sweetness, and texture that won’t be found in other crabs. Blue crabs that are harvested later in the season will have a better flavor due to the fat (mustard) they have stored up from their winter hibernation. The Bay’s water and estuaries also contribute to their deliciousness.
Below is a checklist of what you’ll need for hosting a Labor Day Crab Feast.
- Buckets (for shell disposal)
- Cocktail sauce
- Cold beer
- Crab knives (sharp to pry crab’s apron and reach meat in tough spots)
- Craft paper or newspaper (table covering)
- Iced tea or lemonade
- J.O. Spice
- Melted butter
- Old Bay (mix with apple cider vinegar for dipping)
- Paper towels
- Water bowls (to clean fingers)
Lovers of fat, juicy crab, and amazing seafood don’t have to drive to Baltimore, Ocean City, Hooper’s Island, or Annapolis anymore. Stay close to home and enjoy wonderful deliciousness all year round at our two new locations in Maryland!
Our Crofton branch can accommodate a large party group, so if you are interested in reserving tables, please call (443) 302-2680.