In the story about crabmeat, and the obsession diners and resaurants have for 24-7 jumbo lump crabmeat, Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen said he would love to able to buy packaged crabmeat taken from the whole crab - a single container, in other words that contained claw, backfin and the occasional unbroken lumps.
There's not much demand for that, so crabmeat processsors don't provide it. But former Baltimore Sun reporter Tom Horton told me about one place that does. In fact, Rob Kasper wrote about it in 1996.
The Smith Island Crabmeat Coop, Inc., located in tiny Tylerton on Smith Island, was formed by the wives of the island's watermen.
From the Facebook page:
"For those that are not aware of the style of Smith Island crabmeat...we pick the whole crab. We do not separate because receipe's are much better with the whole crab included. There are more lumps in our crabmeat than in a pound of lump sold elsewhere. You've tried the rest....now try the best!!!!"
I will be talking to the Dora Corbin of the coop about the whole-crab packs. But, are you going to doubt the wisdom of a Smith Islander when it comes to crabmeat?
Now, what are you going to do with that crabmeat mix?
Brad Schwartz, a reader from Olney, sent in his mixed-meat crab cake recipe. Here it is, reprinted with his permission.
Brad Schwartz's Crab Cake recipe
1 tbs fresh chopped parsley, cilantro, or basil
1-2 tsp Coleman's dry mustard depending on personal preference
1/4 cup Hellman's mayo (I prefer Olive Oil type, but any will do).
1 tbs Old Bay
3 slices white bread crust removed
1 extra large egg
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/2 pound lump crab meat
1/2 pound backfin or special crab meat