Crab Meat: What To Look For; Which to Buy
APPEARANCE Crab meat should have a heavy, off-white cream color. Any crab meat with grey or blue hues should be avoided. SMELL Crab meat should exude a briny, sea water aroma. Little smell = little flavor. TEXTURE Crab meat should have a meaty, firm, moist texture. If sampled, it should have a fresh, vibrant, sweet taste. USES Extremely versatile, crab meat is a great addition to many soups, salads, sandwiches, and casseroles. NUTRITIONAL VALUE A lean source of protein, crab meat is rich in essential vitamins and minerals, low in calories, and has very little fat. SHELF LIFE Fresh Crab Meat lasts about 4-5 days; Pasteurized Crab Meat (if refrigerated correctly) can be stored for months. HANDPICKED VS. MACHINE PROCESSED Handpicked crab meat is individually processed by hand. In contrast, machine processed crab meat is separated from the crab by using water or air to blast the meat out of the shell. Flavor is often lost in machine processed crab meat. GRADES Unfortunately there is no industry standard. In general there are (6) grades of crab meat. Grades of meat should be selected based on intended application. Every supplier's product is different ... Below are our specifications:
Jumbo Lump: large whole pieces of white meat from the swimmer fin muscle. There are only two jumbo lump pieces per crab.
Jumbo: small whole pieces of white meat from the swimmer fin muscle.
Super Lump: small or broken jumbo meat; large flakes of body meat. Slightly larger pieces than normal lump.
Lump: small or broken jumbo meat; large flakes of body meat. Slightly smaller pieces than super lump.
Special: small flakes of white meat from
the body of the crab.
Claw: dark meat from the claws and legs.