Gut Rumbles

May 23, 2008

picking crab meat

Originally PUBLISHED August 12, 2005

I've been catching and eating Georgia (and South Carolina) blue crabs all of my adult life. (Taught my DAUGHTER AND STACY how to do it, too.) There is a technique to getting the meat out of those critters, and I was taught to do it by an old black woman many years ago.

Take the crab (COOKED!), peel off the top shell and scoop out all of the "dead man's fingers" (gills) on the inside. Also get rid of that yellow shit in there (although some people like to eat that, too).

Break the crab in half, sideways. Crush the shell around the back leg and tug gently. You'll end up with a big chunk of beautifully white crab-meat that looks like a flower bouquet. Then, pull the other legs off one at a time and do the same thing.

After finishing that, break the half-crab in half AGAIN, and get the meat out of the middle by pulling gently where the legs once were attached. That's a little more work, but it's well worth the effort.

The claws are easy. Just break them off, grab them by the short part on the bottom of the claw, crack the shell, and drag the whole thing out in one piece. Get rid of that strip of cartiledge in the middle.

I've picked many a crab in my life. Hell, I thought I was GOOD at it until I watched a show on TV one night about the wimmen who work in crab factories around Baltimore. BEJUS! Those wimmen work with little knives and can pick POUNDS of crab meat in 15 minutes.

Watching THAT impressed the hell out of me.

I'll never be THAT fast, but I don't do it for a living, either. Still... I could teach YOU how

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