Joe’s has got the blues, but it’s nothing to cry about. Quite the opposite, actually.
Starting May 23, Joe’s is offering Steamed Blue Crab in four locations around the Chesapeake Bay. Spread the butcher paper and hold onto your mallets — this is one summer special you don’t want to miss.
The blue crab is one of the most sought-after crustaceans on the planet, and its Latin name, Callinectes sapidus, translates literally to “beautiful savory swimmer.” Its meat is sweet and tender, and we serve ours steamed by the half or full dozen with J.O. Seasoning. Grab your favorite spot on the patio and order one of our amazing cocktails, and you’ve got the makings of a night to remember.
Tempted? Here are some fun blue crab facts to tide you over until you’re seated.
What’s in a name? The crab itself is a dull gray or brown, but its claws are tinted a brilliant blue.
East Coast represent. The blue crab lives in brackish waters in the Atlantic, as far north as Nova Scotia and as far South as Uruguay. They are the most valuable fishery in the Chesapeake Bay.
Ladies and gentleman. Curious as to whether your dinner is a Mr. or a Ms.? There are two ways to tell. If you’re at the beach or an aquarium, you’ll notice that while both have blue claws, the female’s claws have red tips reminiscent of painted fingernails. Of course, all crab comes out of the steampot red. If you’re at the table, check out the belly. The male has a narrow abdominal apron, which some Maryland locals refer to as “the Washington Monument.” Females have broad abdominal aprons sometimes referred to as “the Capitol dome.” Patriotic, no?
Walk this way. The blue crab has three sets of legs and walks sideways.
A quick change of clothes. Blue crabs molt periodically as they grow. Sometimes their old shells are mistaken for dead crabs.
Big appetites. Blue crabs are not picky eaters. They eat a varied diet of mussels, snails, other crustaceans, fish, worms, plants and random ocean detritus.
Ready to get crackin’? To get at that delicious crab meat, turn the crab belly up and use your fingers to lift up the apron and then pull it back to snap it off. Use your fingers or a table knife to remove the top shell from the bottom of the body by twisting or prying. Next, remove the gills on either side of the crab and crack the body down the center.
Press lightly where the back legs meet the body and pop out the backfin meat, then extract the rest of the body meat.
Finally, the best part: Remove the claws and use your mallet to crack them open and scrape out the meat.