Monday, February 27, 2012

I got a crab.

My current locale has some interesting food heritage. In addition to a few local delicacies that are relatively unique there is a clear local connection to growing, finding or catching food. This often manifests iteself in other local traditions like selling home produced fruit, vegetables and preserves on the roadside with an honesty box and weekly raffles in pubs to win meat or fish. This week I won a crab. Whilst my crab had already been cooked I thought this'd be a decent opportunity to look properly at Cancer pagurus, the European Brown Crab or Edible Crab, especially since most of you out there live in the land of snow, dungerness and stone crabs and hence won't have seen our favourite eating crab. So here he is....

i won a crab

As you can probably tell, this is a seriously robust crustacean with some pretty serious hardwear.....

fig. 2 - stay away from these bits on a live crab.

Below is crab propped up alongside a beer bottle for scale. They get a fair bit bigger than this but this is still a decent sized crab. This is a beastie of rocky coastline using those claws to open up and consume shellfish primarily. They're so robust they are relatively easy to pick up from behind as they're not so flexible.


You can see from this picture that this is a cock (ie a male crab, yep - crabs have cocks and hens too). On a hen crab to triangular bit at the bottom is wider and more rounded (because that's where the eggs get stashed.

No comments: