I thought I'd start a new thread because of the some of the misconceptions about crab meat recently discussed on another thread recently.
First of all there are 3 basic ways that crab meat is sold.....frozen ( don't EVER buy this!), "fresh", and pasteurized ) which is fresh crab meat usually packed in a can which, under refrigeration can last up to a year. "Fresh" crab which has not been pasteurized has a relatively short shelf lif of only about a week ( This is from source to consumption).
Over the past 10 years or so, "Maryland-style" crab cakes have become a very popular restaurant entree ALL OVER THE COUNTRY which has increased the demand for crab tremendously. Those of us who grew up in Maryland unfortunately now have to share our culinary contribution to the masses.
Also during this time, mainly beacuse of progressive companies like Phillips have developed
techniques to farm, handle, and ship crab from Indonesia to both keep up with the ever increasing demand of crab and also insure that the product will be SAFE to eat. The crab that comes from INdonesia is a very similar species to the crab which can be found in Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Personally, I feel more comfortable eating pasteurized crab packed under sanitary conditions than "fresh" crab which can spoil very quickly.
Also, someone mentioned that Wegmans sells Maryland "lump" crab for about $22 per pound. Although I don't doubt that the crab was from Maryland, its important to note how crab meat is currently classified:
Colossol Lump......lumps as large as 2 oz.
Jumbo Lump.......lumps usually about 1 oz.
Petite lump.....lumps about 3/4 oz ( this is a new classification)
Super Lump....nice size lumps, but broken
Lump......this USED to be called "backfin"....lump meat broken
Special....this is shredded backfin
Claw....the least expensive, but very sweet....great in soup
Hope this info helps clarufy some misconceptions