I have known the Atlantic Blue Crab to be a delicacy for many, many years since I was born and raised a Marylander. Blue crabs have been caught commercially in the Chesapeake Bay area for centuries. They are now harvested from the mid Atlantic region to Florida and in Gulf states as far west as Texas. But, no one else seems to know how to cook or shall we say "steam" a crab as well as a Marylander does. The secret ingredient? It is Old Bay. A spice that was developed by a German immigrant who settled in Baltimore, MD in 1939. 60 years later, the legendary spice is used worldwide by renowned chefs and seafood restaurants as well as everyday folks. Old Bay seasoning is produced and packaged in Hunt Valley, Maryland at the McCormick Spice Company. Steaming the crabs with a mixture of rock salt and Old Bay are the key ingredients to this delicious, mouth watering delicacy that will make you long for more!
This past weekend, we had the opportunity to share in this MD seasonal rite at a crab feast held at the home of our good friends, Janet and Darryl. Steamed crabs are definitely not fast food and they are not for formal people either. After all, you eat them right off the table (usually lined with newspaper) and with your bare hands! Darryl steamed up the live bushel himself, with the help of Casey and within 1/2 hour, we were sitting down to enjoy a leisurely evening of pickin', eatin' and drinkin' (gotta have a beer or two with yer crabs)! Who would have thought that this bottom feeder of dead fish and vegetation, otherwise known as the "beautiful swimmer" would taste so sweet and good? Many thanks to Janet and Darryl for their hospitality and generosity!