I was at a Dungeness crab food festival, and had 4 crab dishes. This rather sad culinary experience reinforced a basic food principle I have re-learned many times before. This is what I had:
*crab dip, which was like a gratin with lots of cheese and cream
*crab and avocado sandwich spread on a flatbread halfway between grilled polenta and a pita
*crab seviche with lots of onion, lime juice, and cilantro
*boiled crab in an Italian-type vinaigrette
They were all pretty good, but there was no obvious flavor that would tell you that you were eating fresh, sweet, heavenly, Dungeness crab. Only the boiled crab was good, and then only because the piece I got had obviously escaped being drowned in the Italian style salad dressing.
Look, Dungeness crab is heavenly. The rule is that the less you do to the flavor and texture, the better the flavor. The best dish was the one were the crab was simply boiled and served: no additional flavors, no variation in texture and color, no nothing.
So, the rule: the less you do to an ingredient, the better it will taste.
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