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San Francisco Bay Area Dungeness Crab

Dungeness crabs - flavor intensity varies?

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Dungeness crabs - flavor intensity varies?

Jonathan King | Jan 16, 2003 03:59 PM

I bought three live (and very frisky, but pretty small) Dungeness crabs from my nearby Ranch 99 market last night, steamed them in the usual way, and when they'd cooled down, ate 'em. (With some help...) I found the flavor somewhat lacking: not as sweet as I'm accustomed to, in fact pretty bland and characterless. The texture was also on the mushy side. Just two weeks ago I'd purchased crabs from the same market for a New Year's Eve feast, and found them impeccable ... about two pounds each, with classic flavor and texture.
Now, one interesting thing about yesterday was that the clerk at the fish counter spent a very long time choosing my crabs: he fished many specimens out of the tank, looking at each one for several moments before returning it and choosing another. "My, what attentive, caring service!" I thought to myself at the time. But now, being the suspicious, cynical bloke that I am, I'm wondering if he was sexing them (does one sex taste better than another? and why did I get the mediocre-tasting one?), injecting them with flavor-reducing visual X-rays, or what? Less paranoically, I'm wondering if there are seasonal variations (in size and/or flavor), perhaps even within the span of a couple of weeks?
Anyone with a clue about this?

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