Have you ever eaten soft shell crabs in Maryland?
This is far from your Alaskan king crab leg event out in sunny ole California...this is an experience to be had...
First things first, tables are covered with boards to protect the wood during hammering and layers of newspapers and cut up paper bags are placed on top.
Crabs are then placed in a big pile in the middle of the table for all to grab.
Well hello there, Mr. Crab. These crabs are seasoned heavily with a mixture including lots and lots of Old Bay Spice. In case you were wondering, celery salt is one of the first ingredients. This stuff is seriously intense, making your mouth feel on fire throughout the whole dining experience, which is why you have a beer there to keep you company.
Everyone has their own method of how they choose a crab out of the pile. Annie, Matt's sister, tries to get the heaviest ones since "they are usually denser and more moist." I just tried to pick the ones with the biggest claws...I think I'm forever in the "larger claws=better crabs" mindset from eating all that Dungeoness.
Matt went step by step through how he takes apart his crabs; very methodical and precise. He couldn't figure out why I kept getting shells in my mouth but I think I must have not been following the rules well enough...woops!
It's just common sense that you will drink National Bohemian Beer or "Natty Boh" (originally brewed in Baltimore, MD) with these beauties...
Tearing apart crabs with this much seasoning is a messy experience. Matt's mom was kind enough to lend me one of her work-out shirts so I wouldn't get this stuff all over my white blouse. I know, I know, who wears a white blouse to a crab eating party, right? It won't happen again, cross my heart.
It's a real social event, which is why I think I quite enjoy it. You chat, bang on crab legs, drink beer and have a merry time!
Maddie couldn't exactly join the party, though she probably would have been a fine crab eater.
Thank you Metzbowers for making my first Maryland crab eating experience one of a kind!
For the record, I ate 5 whole crabs! Yowza!