Coast Cooking

Love that jumbo lump crab

By JULIAN BRUNT

Special to the Sun Herald

NYT: How to make soft-shell crab toast

Melissa Clark shows how soft-shelled crabs are at their best when broiled until crisp. Serve them on garlic-rubbed toast with a bright parsley-jalapeno sauce.
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Melissa Clark shows how soft-shelled crabs are at their best when broiled until crisp. Serve them on garlic-rubbed toast with a bright parsley-jalapeno sauce.

Another one of my favorites is jumbo lump crab.

I have a dear friend who lives in Maryland, and she assures me that the crabs that come out of the Chesapeake Bay are the best in the world.

I beg to differ. A marine expert, just the other day, told me that when the crab season ends in December on the Chesapeake, guess where they buy their crabs? You guessed it, from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and processors in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Let them smirk all they want about blue crabs, and Maryland crab cakes, but we know what the score is. I think it quite funny to envision someone sitting at a Bay side restaurant, raving about the crab cakes they are eating and never guessing that those crabs spoke with a distinct Southern accent before they were harvested. 

Crab is so good in so many ways, but like the scallops I blogged about Monday, they are best when almost unadorned.  Yes, they are good in a gratin, and good on top of red fish with just a light cream sauce, but big chunks of lump crab, served artfully in a martini glass, with just a squirt of lemon and perhaps a few torn leaves of cilantro, now that is what I am talking about. Jumbo lump crab is a bit pricy, but it is worth the occasional splurge.

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