Feeling Crabby in St. Michael’s

Poor CE. Barely recovered from his bridge trauma, he was assaulted anew: by the wily Atlantic Blue Crab.

Crabs and the watermen who catch them are a big part of Chesapeake Bay life, commerce and history. There’s even a Pulitzer-prize winning book on the subject entitled Beautiful Swimmers by William W. Warner. I haven’t read it yet because I just finished James Michener’s tome, Chesapeake, an 865-page love letter to the Eastern Shore and a thorough, if somewhat romanticized, account of the area’s history.

Totally recommended: I couldn’t put it down

Michener devotes a lyrical chapter of his book to a description of the environs and mating cycle of the Chesapeake crab. And since we visited the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum next to our hotel, we learned more about this staple of the Eastern Bay economy.

Locals check the crab pot at the Maritime Museum

A crab’s “apron” indicates its gender.

From the illustrations above, you now know that this crab is a female.

We had worked up quite an appetite after all this crab viewing, so we walked over to a restaurant at the nearby harbor for lunch. The special of the day was a crab sandwich, and the CE envisioned a hearty helping of succulent crab meat in his near future. But he hadn’t envisioned it quite the way it was served:

The crab, the whole crab and nothing but the crab!

Mr. or Ms. crab arrived in his or her entirety, complete with claws intact, peeking out from two rather plain slices of bread. The CE was not too happy, although I have to imagine that the crab, battered up and presumably deep-fried, was even less pleased about the situation.

As it turned out, this poor crab gave its life in vain, because it was summarily dispatched back to the kitchen. The CE has never been so happy to order a cheeseburger as he was that day…

Bon appetit!

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
This entry was posted in Animal/Vegetable/Mineral, Gastronomy, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Feeling Crabby in St. Michael’s

  1. polloplayer says:

    CE here: A line has got to be drawn at some point. A guy spends his whole morning, and the better part of an afternoon, learning everything possible about crabs at the Chesapeake Marine Museum and then they have to go and put it all into a sandwich, of all places. Just because a person listens to music all day, say, does not mean he should be forced to shower in half notes and treble clefs later on, does it? By George, this seems completely nonsensical when I read it, but then I may not have fully recovered from peeling back that top piece of bread and staring straight into the eyes of……Fred. Not a suitable lunch companion by any means.

  2. tdevir says:

    LOL! I have seen soft shell crabs served whole like that and I always wondered how people could eat them- doesn’t seem appetizing to me at all!
    Also reminds me of the first time I saw a true east coaster devour a whole lobster – by whole I mean they ate everything including many things in the head, the legs, claws, even the eggs… it was a stomach turner for me!

  3. Katherine says:

    That is both hilarious and disturbing. How did they think that slapping a crab between two slabs of bread constituted a sandwich?!? What’s next? Ordering french fries and having a sun-burned Brigitte Bardot and Marcel Marceau rolled over on a serving tray? Heaven forbid you order “Toad in a Hole” and end up with an actual Kermit.

    Reminds me of being in Mexico for the first time and seeing the trucks labeled “Bimbo” and asking what they were and being told they were delivery trucks. Someone must have then noticed the confused, and slightly horrified, expression on my face because they then explained it was a brand of bread.

  4. Gross!!! Tommy made me try a soft shell crab once, and I might as well have put my face in the sand and taken a nibble. Tasted just like ocean water and sand. Blechhhhhhh. It’s even more disgusting that you can potentially know the sex of the animal you’re about to bite into. No thanks. I pass. “shoulda’ passed on the soup”, CE.

  5. pollo amigo says:

    Pretty crunchy looking.

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