Few things are so quintessentially “Maryland” as the Maryland crab feast. And while crab feasts are usually a summertime tradition, it is an event you can enjoy any time of year. So whether you are dreaming of events for next summer or planning a non-traditional holiday event for this season, a crab feast might be the perfect thing. If you have never hosted a Maryland crab feast, here is a primer to get you started.
While it is unclear how far back the crab feast dates, it is a tradition with roots in the lower classes since, for upper-class folks, it would not have been proper to dig into their food with their hands. By the turn of the 20th century, etiquette relaxed enough that the crab feast became a much more common event. In the 30s and 40s, refrigeration became more popular and the crab house arrived, bringing the tradition of the crab feast into a restaurant setting. Nowadays, the crab feast is still a popular pastime that happens both in crab houses and in private homes and backyards through the summer months.
The best crab feasts happen outside (and they are even better down the ocean), but it does not have to be outdoors to be great, especially now that it is cold. As long as you have a big enough table for a bunch of friends to sit around a community pile of steamed crabs and crack them open, you will be okay. Just do not forget the brown paper for the table.
The side dishes are the items that shine when it comes to regional variations on the Maryland crab feast. Corn on the cob is one of the most common accompaniments to the crab feast, but some areas love to include hush puppies while others prefer some hearty cornbread. Still others include saltine crackers. Some people like sliced tomatoes as a side and others like cubed cheese. Mac and cheese, cold slaw, and potato salad are other popular sides, but a nice fresh salad can also work.
Finally, do not forget the star of the show: callinectes sapidus, the blue crab. For a traditional Maryland crab feast, these delicacies need to be steamed with salt and assorted spices. Other regions boil crabs, but steaming them keeps the meat from getting too mushy so that they can be easily picked. Both male and female crabs are eaten in Maryland, though individuals often have a preference for one or the other. If picking crabs isn’t for you, Eastern Shore Crab Cakes offers the best in crab cakes, crab dip, and crab soups.
Order Your Delicious Crab Creation from Eastern Shore Crab Cakes Today!
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!