Crab Clambakes

Written by Scott Martin
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Crab clambakes are a wonderful variation on the traditional clambake. But, of course, the quality of your best crab clambakes rests in large part on the types and quality of the crabs selected. By familiarizing yourself with various crab varieties, you can find a crab that will make your next get-together a huge success.

Choosing Crabs for Crab Clambakes

Are you a San Francisco Bay Area bakemaster? You might consider the area's most popular crab type, the Dungeness, popular in the Pacific Northwest, with sweet, light meat. King crab is favored further north, from Alaska to Russia and Japan, and often shipped glazed in brine.

Atlantic Blue crabs (so named for hints of blue on the male's claw) is a delicacy from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, and boast a sweet but firm meat. Jonah crab, also known as Rock or Peekytoe, is a Cape Cod favorite, with enlarged claws for extra meat. Stone crabs are particularly popular in Florida and Texas, where a claw is removed and the crabs are released for a year and a half. This creates a second claw regenerated and of extraordinary size.

Of course, when a crab has shed its winter shell, the crab is known as "soft-shell." These are usually Blue crabs, and because they are cleaned before they are served, the diner can devour all of the meat in its entirety. Another crab-delicacy popular in Charleston, South Carolina, is "she-crab soup"--a concoction combining female Blue crabs with their eggs, for a coral-colored soup.

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