There should be a special claws stating that every day is National Crabmeat Day, because the sweet and tender crustacean is a delicious delicacy that we are happy to celebrate today! But I’m just being shellfish. We are fortunate in the Pacific Northwest to have access to Dungeness crab year-round. It’s one of my favorite seafood treats.
Crabs are ocean-dwelling crustaceans dating back to the Jurassic period. Many species live in fresh water, and some even exist on land. It is unknown when humans first realized crab was good to eat. Probably some early homo sapien ran out of saber tooth tiger meat before company arrived, and turned to crab because he was in a pinch. Crabs make up 20% of all crustaceans consumed worldwide. There are a wide variety of preparation methods: popular dishes include bisque, curry, and crab cakes. They can be boiled, steamed, baked, or fried. Some species (such as soft shell crabs) are eaten whole, while other varieties are prized for the meat in their claws or legs (snow crab). In Asia, female crab roe is considered a delicacy. In many countries and cultures, crab is beloved, but the expense makes it a rare treat, so imitation crab meat is substituted. In America, it is typically served in sushi (California rolls) or in crab salad, and is often made with pollock, a mild white fish abundant in the Bering Sea off of Alaska. The fish is skinned and boned, and the meat is minced and artificially flavored. It may contain a small amount of real crabmeat, but all I can say is: what a waste. Nothing beats real crab!
Tara and I are visiting family in Seattle this weekend, which gave us the perfect excuse to head down to Pike Place Market, an enormous public market overlooking Elliott Bay. Open since 1907, Pike Place is famous for its selection of fresh seafood. What better place to go to celebrate crab?
Our philosophy for this challenge was, simpler was better. Dungeness crab is so sweet and succulent on its own, we decided to pick up a couple of crabmeat cocktails. Big chunks of crab and a deliciously tangy, perfectly spicy cocktail sauce – and nothing else. Not cheap at $9 a pop, but you know what? I am declaring this my favorite food challenge so far. It was absolutely delicious.