Brown crab – Cancer Pagarus
It’s summertime and it’s time to crack open one of our nations favourite crustaceans!!!
The brown crab is abundant around the UK coast with two areas standing out for the size and traditions of their crab industries – Cornwall, and Cromer in Norfolk. Our man Pete in Cromer gave us a ring a few weeks ago, sounding really excited that he had landed a good catch of crab. He is a one-man-in-a-boat outfit and sells us the best quality crabs. Cooking a crab is a specialist job and most people just want to get straight into the delicious meat, so most of our brown crab is cooked.
Cromer crab fishermen filmed in 1982. The methods still remain similar to this video with wooden boats being launched off the beach.
Just in case you were wondering, brown crab has inbuilt sustainability because when female crabs are carrying eggs – a period of about six months (and they will typically carry two million eggs) – they hide themselves away and do not eat. Thus they cannot be lured into a crab pot.
But….if you’d like to try something different….
Spider crab – Maja squinado
Spider crabs are caught sustainably but are less common on British dinner tables than the brown crab and they don’t yield as much meat, but the meat is esteemed by gourmets. The claws are full of delicious white meat that is a prized delicacy in Spain and France. Spider crabs are large spiky creatures that are common around Cornwall’s coast. They can grow to a span of 80cm.