Guys, I hate to break it to you, but unless you have dined in or around the state of Maryland, chances are that “Maryland Crab Cake” you ordered off of the menu, isn’t the real deal.
I’m going to give you a few tips so you know how to spot a fake Maryland crab cake. Ready? Here we go…
It’s most likely not a real Maryland crab cake if:
- It’s called a “Maryland Crab cake.” Ha! Trickery.
- It tastes more like breadcrumbs than anything else.
- You can’t see big, lump pieces of white crab meat.
- There’s an orange skin on your crab (imitation crab meat).
- It’s priced less than $9.99.
If you didn’t know. Now you know.
The most delicious crab cakes are going to be made from jumbo lump crab meat from freshly picked crabs. So, your best bet is going to be to splurge and buy a bushel of crabs, steam them, invite your friends and family over and feast! Then, with whatever crab meat is leftover, make yourself a crab cake. Do this after your friends leave or they will want you to make them one too. 😉
Now, I no longer live in Maryland sadly. We are up in PA and fresh crabs aren’t available on the side of the highway like they are in Maryland. So, in a pinch, you can use canned crab meat. It’s just not going to be as good as fresh. Even if you get the $20 can of refrigerated lump crab meat, you most likely wont be getting the big, flaky chunks of white crab meat like you would if you buy or pick your crabs fresh. Also, the meat will have lost some of it’s flavor after being packed into the can and sitting for awhile.
If you don’t have access to fresh crab meat, you can order it fresh online. Just make sure when you order, that you’re getting real crab meat from a place located in Maryland. It’s not going to be cheap.
If you don’t have time to wait or you don’t have the money to spend on ordering fresh, you can go the canned route as I mentioned. But fair warning, you may be better off making crab dip vs. crab cakes if you are going with canned crab meat—you’ll find out why in a minute. If you insist on making crab cakes with canned crab meat (I’ve done it so there’s no shame) but what you might want to do is add a little extra seasoning to boost the flavor.
Now that you know the difference between fresh crab meat, canned crab meat and imitation crab meat. I’m going to let you in on the big Maryland crab cake secret: the are NO BREADCRUMBS in a real Maryland crab cake. Shocking, I know. Now you see why starting with the best crab you can get is very important because that’s where all the flavor comes from.
So that’s really it in a nutshell. I hope that clears up any confusion you may have had about real Maryland vs. fake crab cakes. 🙂
Now you can confidently request “Real Maryland crab cakes only please!” or make your own!