Increased Bay health leads to plentiful harvest of iconic shellfish
ANNAPOLIS, MD – As summer gets underway, it is time for Marylanders to get reacquainted with one of the state’s most beloved pastimes: enjoying fresh, locally sourced and produced crabmeat. It is hard to beat the time-honored tradition and communal experience of feasting on steamed crabs with friends and family, but there are many different ways to enjoy Maryland blue crabs: soups, crab imperial, or the classic Maryland crab cake (see the recipe below!).
“Here in Maryland, few things are more iconic than the Chesapeake blue crab,” said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “The relationship between farmers and watermen goes back to the beginning of our state’s history, and summer is the perfect time to enjoy all of the fresh, local products available statewide.”
Maryland is currently enjoying an abundant crab population, thanks in part to improving water quality. Sediment entering the Chesapeake Bay is down, which has caused an increase in oxygen levels and submerged aquatic vegetation. On its annual report card grading Chesapeake Bay health, scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science gave the bay’s fisheries index an “A” at 90 percent.
“Crabs are plentiful this spring and prices are down,” said Jack Brooks of the Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industry Association. “It’s a great time to take advantage of this unique bargain and feast on Maryland crabs.”
About 50 percent of the U.S. blue crab production is from the Chesapeake Bay, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Visit www.marylandsbest.net for “A Guide to Maryland Seafood: The History, Tradition and Cuisine of the Chesapeake Bay” and Maryland seafood recipes.
|Credit: Edwin Remsberg|
1 pound Maryland regular crabmeat
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
Remove cartilage from crabmeat.
Mix breadcrumbs, egg, mayonnaise, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and white pepper together well.
Pour mixture over crabmeat and fold in lightly but thoroughly.
Form into six cakes.
Deep fry at 350°F until golden brown, 2-3 minutes
Makes 6 crab cakes.
Recipe by Harbour House (Annapolis).