Chesapeake Blue Crab
Chesapeake Bay is the nation’s largest watershed, whose ecosystem stretches from Virginia to New Jersey. And in historic fishing communities throughout the bay, the Blue Crab, whose scientific name—Callinectes sapidus—translated from Latin means 'beautiful savory swimmer', make up the most important and valuable commercial fishery.
Blue Crab is especially known for its sweet, tender meat. Native Americans for centuries living on the Delmarva Peninsula took pleasure in eating these crustaceans, and introduced the European settlers to them. Early treaties included provisions for the rights of Native Americans for “Hunting, Crabbing, Fowling, and Fishing”. After years suffering stock declines, strict management rules on the harvesting of mature females known as “sooks” and males called "jimmies" have allowed blue crab populations to return to the highest levels in 20 years. They are caught by small independent fishermen using trotlines, and brought to the picking house for processing.
The focus of the bay fishing communities is the crab picking house, and JM Clayton in Cambridge, MD has been a landmark for 5 generations. We are proud to be working with the Brooks family in shipping both fresh and pasteurized fresh picked crabmeat in various picks to mix and match in one pound containers in 12 pound cases.
It is remarkable to compare the flavor of a Maryland Blue Crab with the meat of a pond-raised Asian cousin that has been flooding the market over the past few years. And Chesapeake watermen feel pretty strongly that “Maryland crabcake with Asian crab just ain’t right”.
Beautiful fish are landing at all of our docks. Enjoy the glorious fall season.