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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Oh Beautiful Swimmer

I must admit, I wasn’t thrilled about celebrating Crabmeat Day today. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against crabmeat. On the contrary, I have very fond memories of crabbing off the docks and bridges of my youth. For many years it was a Saturday night ritual during the Summer months. Each of us had are very own designated flashlights. My Father was in charge of the long net for scooping up the catch. We would head out to our favorite spot at the Fire Island Inlet, shine our lights in the dark water and wait for the crabs to surface like moths to a light. Easy peasy and oh so delectable:) It was fun too. My sister and I would keep track of how many we each caught. She usually won, lol…I sometimes went adrift watching the moon and the stars and everyone else:)

Oh the gleeful screeches you could hear from children and adults alike when one was spotted. The prize, the Atlantic Blue [claw] Crab!

Those were the days as they say. Although, I’m sure the tradition still exists for many families on Long Island, little did I know at the time that the Blue Crab’s scientific name, Callinectes sapidus, translates to “savory beautiful swimmer.” (Greek: Calli = beautiful, Nectes = swimmer) (Latin: sapidus = savory) It makes sense now because if you have ever been crabbing, boy oh boy, did they glide away at record speeds at the first swish of the net. We did learn the difference between the males and the females in the blue crab family because there were restrictions on what you were allowed to harvest. You see that picture up there, that’s a female blue crab. You can tell because the tips of her claws are bright red. (almost as red as they all will be once cooked:)

Oh Beautiful Swimmer! If you’ve never enjoyed linguini and crab sauce, I’m sorry to tell you, you’re missing one of the Atlantic’s best delicacies. Kiss up the sky, it’s that good!!! The crabs enliven the sauce with a succulent, pleasantly sweet taste of the salty ocean. Digging out those claws for the prize, nothing beats it! Have a napkin or two handy:) As a reward, linguini in crab sauce was our feast on Sundays. (I suppose you could try making it with canned crabmeat) And, my Father’s sauce, spectacular!!! Ah…

The King of Crabs

There couldn’t be more of a difference between harvesting the crabs of the Atlantic Ocean and the crabs of the Bering Sea. King Crab that is. I’ve never had King Crab linguini sauce but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t taste near as sweet as blue crab. However, just look at those claws!!!

The Red King Crab is one of the larger living crabs in the world. It can have a claw span of nearly 5 feet. Yes, those are the same crabs featured on The Discovery Channel’s program The Deadliest Catch. Marion is a huge, huge fan of The Deadliest Catch (she tells me this season’s premiere is March 29th) I kid you not. Don’t be too surprised, you’ll also find her perched in front of the TV on Monday nights. She wouldn’t dream of missing professional wrestling’s WWE Monday night wrestling. Don’t ask:)

Any way you crack it, crabs are so versatile. They can be steamed, boiled or made into crab cakes. They’re also great in soups (She-Crab comes to mind) and chowders. And, what would Crab Louie be minus its namesake. Naked, I tell ya! I know, I know, the Louis Dressing has something to do with it too:)

Isn’t that a cool Wakefield seafood booklet. It may be a bit outdated but you have to admit, just look at those pictures, lol…According to my blogging pal Kathy over at The Food Company Cookbooks, “Wakefield Seafood was founded in 1945 by Lowell Wakefield, a pioneer in the marketing of frozen Alaskan King Crab. The Wakefield's brand was very successful during the 1950s up until the early 1960s. In 1968 the company was sold to Hunt-Wesson.” Kathy is on hiatus from the blogging world but I have to tell you, you think I have cookbooks, Lordy, that girl has me beat!!! She shares many of them on her blog which is still online.

Now for some recipes, King Crab Meat Snug Harbor and King Crab Meat Newburg!

It seems to me we couldn’t dream of speaking of King Crabs without a share from an Alaskan Cookbook.

How ‘bout a Crab Boil.

Here’s the recipe.

Oh before I forget. The reason why I hesitated celebrating National Crabmeat Day is because I was thinking about all those yummy meatballs we had on this day last year for National Meatball Day! (the link is in the sidebar)

Resources
1. King Crab 101 - The Different Types
2. Crab Notes & Crab Q&A
3. A Guide to Crabs, Crabmeat, and Crab Legs

Note: First two images courtesy of wikipedia.