Field Guide: Blue Crab

Type: blue-crab

Blue Crab

What is it

You can find more than sixty varieties of crab in the Gulf Coast’s waters, but the Blue Crab is Alabama’s top choice. If you can crack those tough shells, you’ll find a real seafood treasure. Crab meat is soft, sweet and juicy all the way down to the claws.

When to get it

Fresh crab meat can be found on restaurant menus in various forms all year round, so it’s never a bad time to indulge. But because they migrate into deeper waters during colder weather, you’ll find the freshest catch from March through November.

Where does it come from

With some recent harvests weighing in at over four million pounds, there’s plenty of Blue Crab to be found along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. You can spot them near the shore or in bay waters when the weather is warm, but when the temperatures drop, they travel to deeper waters to find the optimum temperature.

How it's prepared

Crab meat can be found stuffed into just about any dish, but if you want the freshest, tastiest Blue Crab, you’ll have to work for it. Like lobsters, Blue Crab is often served with their shells on, which means cracking open the body and the claws to get to the meat. If you’ve got a big enough pot and plenty of crabs, steaming them for just over half an hour should do the trick, but make sure the shells are a bright orange color before you dig in.

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