Despite the chatter that has gone on now for more than a year, the soft-shell crab has not yet been named Maryland’s official state sandwich. And I, for one, wish they would just go ahead and do it because as much as I might end up hearing about it once its crowned King of All Foods We Hide Between Slices of Bread, I’m sure it’ll be less than I’m hearing about it now.
And the problem with hearing about it is having to picture the thing.
I didn’t grow up in Maryland, and I respect the right of locals everywhere to cling proudly and even desperately to their strange, culture-defining customs. That’s fine. You need a good litmus test to ferret out the outsiders. And of course an initiation rite needs to be at least somewhat frightening for it to be meaningful. But isn’t the whole 7th-grade Biology reenactment with the steamed crabs thing enough? Did you have to go and throw in a whole ‘nother crab thing that looks like a Stephen King setpiece?