April Season’s Feastings – Crab
Lobster may get all the glory, but crab meat can be just as beautiful.
Crab is sweet and delicate with a soft taste and a dense texture. It’s not just delicious, but versatile too. It’s a great addition to sandwiches and salads and makes for a lovely pasta or chilli dish. In the UK, you can enjoy crab in season between April and November.
Most of our crab meat comes from Cancer pagurus – the common crab. Weighing up to 3kg, these crabs offer both “white meat”, found only in the claws, and “brown meat”, found in the body.
Many consumers can be a little squeamish about the brown meat from the body of the crab. However this meat is very high in Omega-3 (just 100g gives ⅔ of your weekly recommended intake) and offers a rich full flavour in a smooth, paté-like texture. An acquired taste well worth acquiring!
Crab is considered sustainable, with a level “2” rating from the Marine Conservation Society. However, crabs caught by dredge, net or trawl methods are harmful to our seas and you should always opt for pot caught crabs.
When buying a whole crab opt for one which feels heavy and always avoid any that sound as if they have liquid moving around inside. If you buy it ready to use, “handpicked” crab will be far better quality than “machine processed”.
If you want to buy your crab live for freshness, then see the RSPCA’s tips for humane stunning and killing.
Did you Know?
Female crabs tend to have sweeter flesh than males.
For a seasonal feast…
Delicate crab goes beautifully as the filling for a tortellini in a simple creamy sauce with spring vegetables such as leek and courgette.