Mountain Branch Grille & Pub in Joppa

Mountain Branch Grille & Pub in Joppa (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun photo / April 18, 2013)

Want to try something so old it's new again, but afraid you might end up with something strange on your plate? Use this glossary to determine which old-fashioned crab recipes might whet your appetite.

Crab cakes: This Maryland staple is simple: crab meat mixed with a few ingredients, such as mayonnaise, bread crumbs and Old Bay, for seasoning and binding (aka "filler"), shaped into a patty, then broiled or fried.

Crab casserole: Crab mixed with several other ingredients, including binders like mayonnaise and egg, spread in a baking dish and baked.

Crab dip: Crab dip can be hot or cold, showcasing crab mixed with ingredients like mayonnaise and/or cream cheese. It's often topped with melted cheddar and served with crackers, bread or vegetables for dipping.

Crab imperial: A luxurious combination of crab, seasoning, egg and mayonnaise, imperial can be served on its own or as a topping for another protein, such as rockfish or steak.

Crab fluff: A soft shell crab, topped with a crab cake, battered and deep fried, crab fluff is a traditional favorite, even if it isn't traditionally "fluffy." (Some restaurants simply batter and fry the crab cake without the soft crab.)

Crab melt: A split English muffin topped with a crab cake and melted cheese, the crab melt is a cheesy, open-faced twist on the crab cake sandwich.

Crab mousse: A gelatin-based, molded dip, served with crackers, that combines crab with mayonnaise, cream of mushroom soup and cream cheese.

Crab salad: A cold salad lightly mixing crab meat with something to bind (such as mayonnaise) and season, crab salad is often served over greens or with fruit.

Crab soup: This comes in two forms: cream of crab (often spiked with sherry) and the spicier, tomato-based Maryland crab, which is like a vegetable soup with crab and seasoning added.

Deviled crab: Deviled crab is similar to a crab cake, but sprinkled with bread crumbs and baked, rather than broiled or fried.

Fried hard crab: A cleaned crab, stuffed with its own crabmeat mixed with seasoning and binding agents, is battered and deep-fried for a fun take on hard crabs.

—Kit Waskom Pollard