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Friday, May 24, 2013

Memorial Day starts crab and corn season


     Summer in Maryland kicks off with the first crabs and sweet corn.  The crab season doesn't usually get off to a fast start as the bay water usually keeps the season's early crab catch lower than later in the summer season.  We will still be getting many of the Memorial Day crabs from down south.  Same with the corn that is in our grocery stores this weekend.
    The past couple of years I have been pleased with the corn that Giant has carried but this year my place to go for sweet corn has been Wegman's.  Their corn the past couple of weeks has been outstanding.  For a different way to cook sweet corn try roasting it in the oven with the husks on at 350 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes.  The husks come off easily after roasting.  For a different flavor try to mix some garlic salt or Old Bay with the butter you brush onto the corn.
    This weekend you will probably see some of the truck crab vendors along some of our major highways.  The truck vendor down 29 near Burtonsville has been a popular vendor.  Franks Seafood Market in the Maryland Produce Market on 175 just past Route 1 is a good place to find crabs.  Just be prepared to pay a premium price for crabs at this time of year.  A couple of years ago HowChow had some suggested places to buy crabs.  Most places still seem to be in business.

    It seems that visitors to Maryland always want to try some crabs as they have heard that Maryland is the place for crabs.  I usually suggest to out of towners to try crab in a crab cake rather than learning how to pick crabs.  This comes from experience.  I once took some crabs to my wife's family in the Mid-West and it was not an experience I want to remember.  After having the live crabs packed in seaweed for the flight out to Chicago I looked forward to bringing a real Maryland experience to folks whose experience with seafood was Gordon's fish sticks.  Somehow for people who were used to slaughtering cows and chickens to eat the idea of boiling the crabs live seemed cruel.  The crabs scratching the lid of the pot probably didn't help.
    Sitting down at the table with newspapers spread out I gave a quick lesson on how to get the crab meat out of the cooked crabs.  Needless to say the crab "mustard" and lungs were a turnoff for them.  They started to rinse off the crabs insides before trying to get out the crab meat.  OK, now onto the fun of eating the crab meat.  Somehow this was the first time some of the family members had ever had shellfish.  Remember this is the Mid-West!  A couple family members started to develop hives and one started to have her throat swell.  No wonder one family member ended our dinner with the comment, "I think we will stick to beef!"

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