Every part of the United States is known for some food specialty that helps to define the local culture and tastes. Much of it is the result of the increased availability of certain foods with ethnic or other cultural influences thrown into the mix. The South is famous for its zesty barbecue, mouthwatering smoked hams, and pecan pie. The Southwest brings us spicy chiles, enchiladas, chorizo, and sweet sopapillas. Philadelphia offers the famous cheese steak and soft pretzels. A trip around the United States is truly an adventure in cuisine with variety that rivals foods found anywhere else in the world.
The state of Maryland, neatly tucked in between the South and New England on the eastern U.S. coast has long been famous for its seafood and especially for its Blue crab. One of many species of crab found throughout the world, the little Blue crab is considered by many to be the most delicious for its rich, robust flavor and sweet crabby deliciousness.
Native Americans who for centuries enjoyed the bounties of the bays that are home to these succulent crustaceans undoubtedly introduced the new European settlers to the best crabbing locations. In fact, "Chesapeake" means "great shellfish bay" in the native Susquehanock tongue. Maryland Blue crabs have been a commercial mainstay of the Chesapeake Bay area since the mid-nineteenth century and still remain a vital industry. Crisfield, Maryland, whose main industry is crab meat, is known as the "Crab Capitol of the World." Their live crabs and steamed crab meat are exported throughout the world.
A visit to Maryland isn't complete without a meal of famous Maryland Crab Cakes made from the sweetest lump Blue crab meat. There are doubtless as many recipes for crab cakes as there are residents in the state but one thing they all have in common is that they're made from the crab caught in their bays that set them apart from any others. This American classic has its roots in Colonial times and remains the most popular dish of the fine area restaurants today.
Maryland crab cakes can be enjoyed as a main course, appetizer, or party hors d'oeuvre ranging from walnut size to large hamburger patty size. Condiments served with them may include tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, mustard, or Worcestershire sauce. Many even enjoy crab cake sandwiches with lettuce, pickles, and tomato. However authentic Maryland crab cakes are served, taste bud delight is assured thanks to the little Blue crab for which the bays are famous.
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