Since the mid-1800’s Maryland blue crabs have been caught commercially in the Chesapeake Bay. Maryland crabs continue to give a boost to the state economy.
Maryland crabs are prepared in many ways – steamed or sautéed (soft shells), as crab cakes and crab imperial, or in crab soup and crab dip. Crabs grow by molting or shedding their shell. Soft-shell crabs are blue crabs that have shed their hard outer shell and whose new shells have not yet hardened.
The blue crab’s scientific name is Callinectes Sapidus which means beautiful swimmer that is savory.
Blue crabs are harvested as hard shell crabs or peeler crabs, just before molting and soft shell crabs right after molting.
The legal size for harvesting male crabs is 5 inches or more across: peelers, 3 inches across and soft crabs 3 1/2 inches across. There is no size limit set for mature female crabs.
Eating Maryland Crabs
- Crab prime season is during the summer starting in May through September.
- The male crab is preferred over the female crab since he has more meat.
- An adult can eat 6 to 12 crabs at a time. They are tasty but not filling, so plan on eating something like corn on the cob, coleslaw or potato salad with the crabs.
- Larger the crabs are more expensive and are typically more sweet and tasty
- Crabs are often cooked in Old Bay Seasoning, which is made in Maryland, adding just the right amount of spice to the delicious crabs.
- When going out to eat crabs, the restaurant will often put a roll of paper on the table and give you lots of paper towels since they are messy to eat. For that reason, you’ll want to dress casually for your night out for a crab dinner or when going to a crab feast.
- Maryland crab cakes are very popular, filled with delicious thick blue Maryland crab meat.
When visiting Annapolis, having Maryland crabs and or crab cakes is a must.
Before going to Annapolis, be sure to call or contact Gibson’s Lodging to make reservations at their wonderful bed & breakfast inn at 1-877-330-0057.