Keep ‘Em Crackin’ at the Rustic Inn Crabhouse
The Blue Crab is one of the most valuable crustaceans in The United States. Blue Crabs are found in the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Florida, The Gulf of Mexico and as far south as Honduras. A shallow water crab, it can live in salt, fresh and brackish waters of bays, sounds, channels and river mouths. The Blue Crab has a dark green or olive green, hard shell with five pairs of bright blue legs. Male and female claws are various shades of blue on the top but the tips of the female’s claws are bright red. The crab shell turns a scarlet red when cooked. The light, low-fat meat has a mild, sweet flavor and a delicate texture.
The Rustic Inn prepares and serves the hard shell Blue Crab in two, different ways: 1) Our world famous garlic crabs witch are clusters sauteed with garlic and our secret family recipe, and; Old Bay spiced, steamed crabs (not always available) and whole Blue Crabs steamed with Old Bay spice. The garlic Blue Crabs were the first (and original) type of garlic-style crab to be served by The Rustic Inn.
Sometimes customers will ask for “Maryland crabs,” or “Baltimore style crabs.” The reason for these requests are because The Chesapeake Bay (bordered by Maryland and Virginia) is famous for its Blue Crabs and the preparation thereof, however, The Rustic Inn Prepares our steamed Blue Crabs in much the same manner.
By the way, and important thing to remember… The Rustic Inn uses only male crabs for our steamed crab entree.
The Atlantic Stone Crab can be found in waters as far north as Connecticut, however the best claws come from Florida. The vast majority of the harvest takes place in areas as far south as the Florida Keys to Sarasota in the Gulf of Mexico. So named for their extremely hard shells, the claws of the Stone Crab are a coveted delicacy with firm, sweet meat similar in flavor and texture to lobster. Florida law forbids the harvesting of the whole Stone Crabs. Instead, crabbers (fisherman) remove one, or both, claws and return the live crab to the water where it can regenerate its lost limbs.
Stone crabs are cooked in boiling water immediately after harvest on the boat, or at dock side then chilled to prevent the meat from sticking to the inside of the shell. One of the most popular ways to serve them is cold with mustard dipping sauce which is the way we serve them here at The Rustic Inn. However, if the customer prefers (though not recommended by us) they can be served hot with drawn butter. Florida Stone Crab season runs from October 15th thru May 15th.
Soft Shell Crab
Soft Shell Crabs are Blue Crabs that have molted. (The process of “molting” allows the crab to shed its external shell periodically in order to grow larger.) Before molting begins, a new soft shell forms inside and the crab backs out of the old loose shell. Immediately following molting, the crab’s shell begins to harden. It is crucial that the crab be removed from the water as soon as possible to stop this process. If left in the water, the shell will fully harden in only a few days. Soft Shell Crabs are a delicacy and are eaten whole. The Rustic Inn prepares Soft Shell Crabs in two ways: grilled or deep fried. Soft Shell Crabs are and “acquired taste.” Please ask your customers (who order this item) if they are familiar with Soft Shell Crabs… because they may not care for them if they’ve never had them, before. Remember it’s the whole crab with a soft shell, served deep fried, or grilled.
Dungeness Crabs are found in the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to central California. Their Latin name means “master crab” because they can measure as wide as ten inches across the shell. Though they have much smaller legs than the Alaskan King or Queen crab, they do have much bigger shell size and do contain a lot of meat. The meat is mild and sweet with a slightly nutty taste. Here at The Rustic Inn, Dungeness Crabs are cleaned and served as clusters sauteed with garlic and our secret family recipe. (These crabs are not served whole.)
Alaskan Queen Crab
Alaskan Queen Crab are a type of Snow Crab famously known as Opilio, or Bairdi crab. They are called “Queen Crab” because they are very long-legged like the Alaskan King Crab but their body and leg widths are smaller than the King Crab. They also have flatter and smoother shells than the King Crab. These crabs live in the cold waters of the northern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in addition to the Bering Sea. The Queen Crab has a subtle, sweet flavor with incredibly delicate, snow whit meat and firm texture. Queen Crab is more fibrous and stringy than King Crab. The Rustic Inn serves Queen Crab in clusters, steamed with drawn butter. Both the King and Queen Crabs are featured on The Discovery channel’s “Deadliest Catch)”
Alaskan King Crab
Alaskan King Crab are the biggest and most sought after crab in the world. Their preferred habitat is in the coldest waters of the world in various areas of the Pacific Ocean near Alaska. King Crab are popular for their huge legs that are graciously loaded with meat an their large, tasty and meaty claws. The meat is sweet, moist, succulent and rich. The flesh is snow white with streaks of red. The Rustic Inn serves King Crab Legs oven baked with drawn butter. The dangers of King Crab fishing are highlighted on Discovery channel’s “Deadliest Catch” series.
The Golden Crab is large, non-swimming crab from the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the south Atlantic Ocean. It’s golden-cream shell color sets this crab apart from its close relatives the deep-sea red crabs, “Queen” and “King.” This crab comes from extremely deep water of up to 2800 feet. The shell of the Golden Crab does not turn red during cooking like other crabs but remains “goldenbuff” in color. The meat is soft in texture, delicate and sweet. Also, the shell (when cooked) tends to be softer and more pliable than that of other crabs. Here at The Rustic Inn, Golden Crabs are cleaned and served as clusters sauteed with garlic and our secret family recipe.