Maryland is a state that is visited every summer by people from all over the world. These people come to the great state of Maryland to experience the things that make Marylanders so proud that you cannot step three feet without seeing the Maryland Flag. Probably the most recognizable state flag in the world, it can be seen flying proudly or tattooed on someone, everywhere you go. They come here for our beautiful history.
They come here for our water life; Sailing, fishing, crabbing, etc. But there are some things in Maryland that everyone does not know as much about. Delicacies that get lost in the looming shadow of the steamed Chesapeake Blue Crab. They come here and they discover our fresh local oysters, and something called the Soft-Shell Crab.
A lot of people do not realize that crabs molt as they grow. They have to discard their exoskeleton so they can grow into the big fat Buster crabs that everyone looks for. But they do not all make it to this stage. Fisherman and crabbers pull soft shell crabs out of the water as soon as possible after the molting process. If they are not picked up at the right time, the shell will start to harden, making the crab less than ideal for culinary purposes.
“Soft Shell Crab” is actually a culinary term to describe the crab. It does not have a different scientific name, because at the end of the day it is still a blue crab, just softer. From April to September, you can find these crabs in select locations around the state. But you need to get them while the getting is good, because they are popular, and they go fast. They are so popular, in fact, that many of those visitors who had never had one before will keep coming back for more. They will never forget their first Soft Shell Crab.
The Crab Shack in Crofton and Edgewater specializes in local crabs, hard or soft. The hard crabs are steamed and generously seasoned with Old Bay. The Soft-Shell Crab is something completely different, and over the last 30 years, The Crab Shack in Crofton and Edgewater has perfected their recipe for preparing this sought-after delicacy.
Since the crab has shed its hard exoskeleton, there is no need to pick it anymore. It is cleaned by removing the gills, mouth, and hood, then battered, seasoned, and fried right before being thrown on a sandwich, and you can eat ALL of it. It is a life-changing meal that everyone, locals and visitors alike, must experience at least once in their life. For more information on the menu and the availability of Soft-Shell Crabs, please visit www.thecrabshackmd.com