Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I eat Blue Crabs?
How do I eat Blue Crabs?
Take your steamed blue crab whose shell now has an orange color and flip it so it is belly up. Find what is known as the tab or flap on the belly of the crab. The tab on a male crab looks like the 'Washington monument' and the flap on a female is wide and looks like the 'top of the U.S. Captital'.
Pry this tab or flap up with the point of a knife then tear it off and discard it.
Using your thumbs separate the top and bottom of the shell. The bottom part contains the entire body of the crab which will be picked in the following steps. The top half of the shell will contain nothing except a small amount of yellow substance which believe it or not is edible and referred to by many as the mustard or the tomalley.
Next remove the lungs with are sometimes called the devils fingers. Remove them by pinching them between your thumb and the side of your knife using a scraping pulling motion. Remove and discard the lungs from the left and right side of the crab. Do not eat the lungs of the blue crab.
Grip the crab so that you have one side of the crab in each hand bend each side down or up until it is broken into two halves also called clusters.
Now that you have two clusters with each consisting of a claw, three legs, and a back fin you are very close to finally picking the much anticipated meat. First locate the back fin which is the small swim fin located opposite the claw on either on of you two clusters. Using your thumb and index finger squeeze the back fin lightly just above the joint to the inside of the body then gently pull with a very easy twisting motion removing the most desired meat on the crab that should still be connected to the back fin which still may have a little bit of the thin white shell still surrounding the meat that can be easily removed revealing the white fluffy meat.
Now take the remaining part of the cluster which is now minus the back fin and squeeze the inner part of the crab shell not crushing it rather just cracking it enough to allow the meat to separate from the shell enough to slide out in the next step. This cracking the crab in a skill that takes practice over time do to the fact that every crab shell is of different hardness depending on the crabs individual stage in the molting process.
Once the body of the crab has been cracked and squeezed you can now take your knife and between the squeezed parts cut down the centers of each camber just down to where the legs fasten to the body. Now since we did not remove the legs yet but did however loosen up the innards also known as the meat of the crab by squeezing and made a little slit with the knife we will pull the legs out gently and if lucky all the meat will be hanging from the base of the leg. If you are not so lucky just pick the meat out with the point of your knife. Even with practice the meat will not always come out perfectly attached to the leg.
After getting the biggest easiest pieces out of the body as in Step 7 use the point of your knife and fingers to separate the rest of the thin white shell cavities that makes up the inside of the crab. This is the most time consuming and unrewarding part of your picking experience in that the pieces of meat get smaller and are more difficult to remove however there is plenty of meat remaining to be worth your while.
Finally eating the much awaited claw meat. To get to the claw meat you hold straight with the joint extended bending it back opposite to the way the joint naturally bends then with a mallet of the handle of a knife strike the center of the claw. This requires the most skill and practice to master because you want to only crack the shell 1/4 of the way threw just enough to remove the shell from the large fluffy meat without pulverizing the shell into the meat. Once the large fluffy chunk of meat is revealed pinch the cartilage at widest side of the meat careful not to bit off the cartilage while pulling it out leaving the piece of claw meat in your mouth.
Lastly the remaining six legs of the Maryland blue have very little meat and are often discarded while there are other people who will ask for any leg that may have broken off in the pot during steaming so they can savor each little morsel, if this is you then simply focus on the thickest part of the leg between the joint that was fastened to the body and the next knuckle moving toward the tip of the leg, snap and remove that knuckle and small remaining segments and in your hand will be the remaining largest segment of the leg. Snap the joint side that would have connected to the body and slide out tapered sliver of meat and consume.
Soon you will be eating The candy of the Chesapeake like a pro. Remember practice makes perfect!
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Due to the nature of our business and the products, we offer, items purchased through the BlueCrabTrading.com website cannot be returned. Blue Crab Trading Co. strives to ship the absolute freshest seafood available anywhere. Every item we sell is carefully inspected before it is packaged and shipped. When your order leaves our facility, it is packed with more than enough refrigerant to prevent spoilage. If our seafood arrives damaged, please contact us immediately. If your order is spoiled or damaged due to negligence by Blue Crab Trading Co., we will replace it free-of-charge. All concerns must be received within 48 hours of delivery.
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Since Blue Crab Trading Co. offers nearly all perishable products, shipping ALL our seafood in the freshest condition takes thought and careful planning. We've come up with our own fresh gel pack system that keeps perishables cool in transit for up to 48 hours. We take care to arrange your seafood in specialized boxes designed to keep your order in the freshest possible condition upon arrival. We are dedicated to providing you with the freshest hard shell crabs and seafood on the web, therefore, if you have any questions about our Return and Refund Policy, please feel free to call us Tollfree at 1-800-499-CRAB (2722).
Since crabbing is depended on conditions beyond our control Blue Crab Trading Co. reserves the right to pack and equivalent dollar amount of crabs to fulfill orders.