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Where to find it: Live Blue Crabs

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Most everyone who lives in Charlotte spends some time at the beach, and one of the quintessential beach dinners is crab, specifically blue crabs. These crustaceans are found along the shore areas of the western Atlantic Ocean. Their scientific name is Callinectes sapidus, meaning beautiful swimmer in Greek. But as most children have observed, while these crabs can swim, they amusingly move sideways on land. Anyone who has been coastal fishing has tossed back a jimmie (male) or a female crab, or two, from the line, and crabbing using chicken necks for bait is a common summer activity.

The Super G Mart (7323 East Independence Blvd.), a new international market which opened in June, sells live Blue Crabs from Thursday to Sunday each week. The crabs are $2.50 and you pick your own. However, none of the seafood at Super G Mart is labeled as per origin. The General Manager said the Blue Crabs at Super G Mart are from North Carolina.

In order to tell the difference between male and female crabs, look at the underside of the shell. The male apron has the shape of the Washington monument while the female apron resembles the Capitol Dome (can you tell how popular Blue Crabs are in the Washington D.C. and Chesapeake Bay area?). Whether you like crabs steamed, as is the tradition in Maryland, or boiled, as they do in the Gulf, crabs are an essential part of Southern cuisine.

Looking for a food you can't find? Or do you know of other food items unique to the Q.C.? Whether it's regional foods or international, talk to me: tricia.childress@creativeloafing.com or 704-522-8334, extension 136.

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