Soft Shelled Crabs – An Introduction to a Fancy and Delicious Delicacy
Many people are not fond of picking out crab meat as it yields only a few bits of meat but takes some good effort to do so. This is a very reasonable complaint among those who didn’t grow up around seafood. Different crab species yield different portions of meat with regards to its total body weight, but there is a unique way of circumventing this dilemma. Crabs will usually have hard shells. The hard shell of crabs will not grow along with the crab, thus they will regularly need to shed their hard shells as they grow.
Crabs will shed off their hard shells and replace it with a larger one as they grow. This process happens monthly. This is what is called “Molting”. Whenever crabs molt, they grow about 33% in size. But before they molt, crabs will already have a soft shell growing underneath its hard shell. This soft shell growth can be seen along the paddles’ margins. And after the molting process, the crab is then left with a soft, stretchy and pliable shell. A crab that has molted and has a soft shell is literally called a soft shelled crab.
Crabs, as they grow in size will also need larger shells, since their hard shells don’t grow with them, the process of molting is not that fancy as crabs will just crawl out of their shells. Female crabs are estimated to molt 18 to 20 times in their entire lifespans. Male crabs on the other hand will molt about 21 or 23 times. Another interesting fact is that it becomes harder and harder for crabs to molt as they grow old. Its common for crabs to die during the molting process.
Soft shelled crabs that has just crawled out of their hard shells is what a lot of cooks are looking for and what most people enjoy. Soft shelled crabs are at a perfect stage for eating, and it is also left weak as it has just crawled out of its shell. These crabs that are in a weaker state is easier to catch. Crabs only molt in water.
These crabs can be caught in a variety of ways. The most common method is what is known as scapping. This is just a method where you take a long handled net and scoop up molting crabs on shallow waters.
These soft-shell crabs are a famous Cajun delicacy. Soft shell crabs can be prepared in a variety of ways.There are also stores that sell soft shell crabs online so you no longer have to go scapping or look for them in stores.