For most Northwesterners, Dungeness crab is the one we’ve come to love, the one we’ve grown up with, the one that we take pride in. We understand that most of the real world grew up on blue crab from the east coast and southern waters, and there are certainly those that will always tout the amazing flavor of that “jumbo lump”. We know that the sweet succulence of the Alaskan King crab is unsurpassed. We’ll give credit to the Stone crab from Florida and even the often misunderstood snow crab cousins. (Bairdi and Opilio)
Although Dungeness crab is harvested commercially from California to Alaska, the bulk of the catch is from the Washington and Oregon coast, where fishermen brave the rain and cold of winter to supply our quota of the delightful bounty. There is also a great Dungeness crab fishery in the inland waters of Washington – from south Puget Sound to the San Juan Islands and all points in between, and that’s what I’m really familiar with. We catch them in pots baited with turkey legs, salmon skins and cat food. Sometimes we’ll find them hiding in the eel grass at low tide. And we can always pick up a few at Mutual fish or the Pike Place Market. We put the meat in salads, in crab cakes, chowder and pasta. But we mostly just enjoy it “al natural”, with a little lemon and cocktail sauce, or maybe dipped in a pot of melted butter.
So what makes it so good? Is it the fact that we can toss a crab pot out of our canoe and pull up fresh crab just an hour later? Is it because we know that it’s a dangerous battle to get those beauties out of the pot and onto the stove without getting pinched? Is it because some of us will “eat as we go” and others will collect a large pile of the delicious meat that will make the rest of the family envious? Whatever your pleasure, Dungeness crab is a true local delicacy, to be enjoyed for all occasions; whether it’s a special birthday dinner or a summer picnic at the beach.
Right now, we are featuring FRESH Dungeness crab from Lummi Island near Bellingham. This crab is only available for a limited time, processed in small batches several times a week, hand-graded, hand-picked and shipped directly to PEARL. It doesn’t get much fresher, or better. Enjoy it while you can!