Fiction or Fact from Bob’s Almanac

by Robert Mason Jr.

I woke from a deep nap the other evening, craving crab—the sweet, delicate white meat of the Chesapeake Bay blue crab to be exact.

It is that season.

It was too late to hit a restaurant or seafood market for softshells, crab cakes, crab balls, crab salad, crab dip, crab soup, crab Imperial, crab curry, crab stuffed mushrooms, crab tacos, crab au gratin, crab Alfredo, crab quiche, crab omelet, crab Benedict, deviled crab, crab rangoon, crab sushi, steamed crabs, or even raw ones.

And it’s not that convenient to fish my own pots. Who am I kidding? Truth be told, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

So I slapped some water on my face and raced to Tri-Star Supermarket. There, I picked-up a pound container of jumbo lump crabmeat, picked and packaged for my dining pleasure by the good folks at Little River Seafood Inc. of Reedville. God bless ’em.

Sure, I paid a little more for it than that enticing roadside sign in White Stone, offering a dozen steamed crabs for next to nothing.

But the way I figure, I got three meals for under $30 and I didn’t have to pick a darn thing but a couple little pieces of shell out of my teeth. Particles they call them.

Purchasing jumbo lump crabmeat by the carton is so much more efficient than picking my own. There is absolutely no waste and it’s not nearly as messy.

I sautéed a few bites with a little butter and a dash of seafood seasoning, but most of it I just scooped right from the container.

And according to the nutrition facts on the label, crab is a healthy alternative to filet mignon.

Right out of the carton, there’s approximately 90 calories in a 5.33 ounce serving, 1 gram of fat, no saturated fat, no carbohydrates and 19 grams of protein.

It’s a little rich in cholesterol, about 80 milligrams and it’s naturally high in sodium, around 300 milligrams.

It’s also a good source of B12, selenium, zinc and copper.

Paired with a slice or two cut from a big ol’ beefsteak tomato and you’ve got a meal.

One medium beefsteak tomato has 25 calories, no fat, 5 carbohydrates, a gram of protein, no cholesterol and 20 milligrams of sodium.

Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, and they are full of fiber. Tomatoes are also noted for containing the antioxidant compound lycopene.

For comparison sake, a 5-ounce filet mignon has 378 calories, 24 grams of fat, 9.6 grams of saturated fact, no carbs, 37 grams of protein, 137 milligrams of cholesterol, 77 milligrams of sodium and 466 milligrams of potassium.

It’s also a good source of B12, potassium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus.

Plus, those good folks at Little River Seafood plastered a crab cake recipe on the container.

Like I’m going to take the time to make crab cakes.

But somebody might and I’m sure the good folks at Little River Seafood wouldn’t mind me sharing their recipe since it’s right there on the container for God and everybody to see.

Ingredients first: 1 large egg, 2-1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, 1 pound of Little River Brand lump crabmeat, 1/2 cup panko or bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon melted butter.

The process: “Combine the egg, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, seasoning and parsley in a large bow and mix well. Add the crab meat (check for particles) and panko; gently fold mixture together until just combined. Shape into 6 cakes and bake on a baking sheet or sauté in butter.

Eat up.

According to the annual Blue Crab Advisory Report released last week by the Chesapeake Bay Program, the bay’s blue crab population is currently not depleted and it is not being overfished.

“This year’s report indicates we’re on a solid path and, thanks to the science involved, can enjoy eating crabs with friends and family this summer,” said NOAA Chesapeake Bay acting director and Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team chairman Sean Corson.

More on the report appears on page C .