The Maryland blue crab is perhaps the most delicious species of crab in the world and the highest in protein. Every year, locals and natives alike love to feast on the delectable crustaceans, and the full moon of October is the sign that the crabs will taste their best. However, does it matter whether you eat a male or a female one? Here, we will look at the distinctions of a female vs. male blue crab.
How to Tell Them Apart
Three physical traits make it easy to tell the difference between the female vs. male blue crab: size, claw color, and apron shape. While the male is not always bigger than the female in some species, he is in the case of the Callinectes sapidus (beautiful swimmer.) The male’s claws are also not just larger, but they are bright blue too. The female’s claws, on the other hand, are tipped in red, just as if she was wearing red nail polish.
Lastly, the apron, the flap on the underside of the blue crab, has a different shape depending on the crab’s gender and age. If it’s a male (known as a “Jimmy,”) the flap will be long and narrow, like the Washington monument. If it’s a mature female (a “Sook,”) the apron will look like a bell or a dome, like the Capitol’s. The apron of an immature female, a “Sally,” will look more like an upside-down V.
Difference in Taste
It is generally known that males pack in more meat, and people consider the texture to be flaky. The females carry less meat because they are smaller, but their meat is also denser. Besides the difference in mass and texture, there does not appear to be a real difference in their tastes.
Is One Better Than the Other?
A survey of 34 restaurants in the Baltimore area taken by the Baltimore Sun in 2018 showed that almost half of those restaurants do not sell female crabs. When they do, the female crabs are cheaper by the dozen almost every time. In the crabbing department, restrictions apply to how many mature females a crabber can harvest in a given time. The females carry the eggs, and so the next generation of blue crustaceans to enjoy.
As for the eaters, most people simply do not like the roe, the orange eggs, that the female bears. Asian cultures consider the roe a delicacy, but North Americans prefer the meat alone. Is there a winner in the male vs. female blue crab debate? Is the female blue crab better than the male or vice versa? No, but each has its differences.
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With a lifetime of history alongside the Chesapeake Bay, Chef Michael Matassa proudly creates Eastern Shore Crab Cakes for you and your family to enjoy. From warming crab soups to our classic crab cakes, there is something delicious for everyone at Eastern Shore Crab Cakes this year. Order your delicious crab meat products online, and visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn for more updates on your favorite Maryland crab dishes! We don’t cook, we create! Get your delicious crab cakes from Eastern Shore Crab Cakes today!