Virginia Tries to Take Credit for Maryland Crabs

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fried crab

Last week, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe told a radio interviewer that most so-called Maryland crabs are actually born in Virginia. “So really,” he said, :they should be Virginia crabs.” The nerve!

Well, not so fast: Politifact dug into McAuliffe’s assertion, and found that… he’s right, after a fashion. Most Maryland crabs are fertilized and born in the Virginian part of the Chesapeake bay. “There’s no such thing as a Maryland-born crab in the Chesapeake Bay,” said Tom Miller, professor at the University of Maryland’s Chesapeake Biological lab. (The reasons are complicated and have something to do with salinity levels.)

But since when do we define a person–sorry, I mean a crab–solely by where it was conceived and/or born? That’s a pretty narrow-minded way of looking at the world. So as long as the meat in your crab cakes isn’t mislabeled, I think you’re perfectly fine saying that a crab caught in Maryland is a Maryland crab.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Perhaps we should all call them “Chesapeake Bay Crabs” since the bay, which we share, is the source of their unique deliciousness. Anyone in their right mind, however, must concedes Maryland’s superiority in crab dishes especially crab cakes, crab fluff and steamed crabs.

  2. 90% of the crabs eaten in Maryland are brought in from out of state, so you could live in Maryland for years eating crabs and probably never taste a Maryland crab unless you caught it yourself. Thursday morning’s hundreds of seafood trucks line the cargo area’s at BWI as planes from Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida unload crabs. Better to eat a crabcake made of Texan Crabmeat than Indonesian though.

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