All about Soft-Shelled Blue Crabs
The months when soft shelled blue crabs are in abundance are during the months of May and September. They have soft shells because during late spring and early fall these blue crabs are in their molting stage and is most productive during this months. So during these months, there is really abundant supply of soft shelled blue crabs.
For the unknowing, in the U.S., these blue crab species have gotten too big for their shells and therefore in order for them to keep growing, they shed their old shell away in exchange for a newer and bigger one. In sequence, its way of discharging their old shell is to swallow water in order to dilate its body, enough to break away from its old shell. Once out, it takes around 10 minutes before the process of forming a new shell starts. The shell then hardens after a few days. And in these few days before the shell starts to harden is the best time to catch these blue crabs. The soft shelled blue crabs are thus, not another crab species but belongs to the same crab family. It is not only these blue crabs that experience molting but every type of crab for that matter.
Soft shelled blue crabs will give you an easier time to eat the crab meat since you don’t have to exert so much effort in prying meat out of the shell just like you do with the regular crab. Although crab meat is made available year round, soft shell crab, have an entirely different taste when they are in this state as it includes the delicate soft shells that adds to a nice crunch. Soft shelled blue crabs are a delicacy but you need to know how to pick the right kind from the right source. This is the reason why it is recommended that you buy them from a good source to get the freshest crabs. Look for the crabs that is not lesser than 2 1/2 to 3 ounces. If you can find what is known as jumbo’s (4 ounces), this is even better. While it is in season, you should enjoy your soft shelled blue crabs as much as you can.
The crabs may be prepared in an infinite number of ways. You can dip the crabs in batter and deep fry them until they are really crispy or you can simply put flour and fry it in a shallow pan. You can put them in buns, you can grill them over hot coals for a smoky aroma, pan-cook them in olive oil.
If you want to be sure that your crabs are clean, you can do the cleaning when you are arrive at home. Another thing that you have to remember is to buy them when you intend to cook it on that same day.