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.