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Drum Ribs, DelMarVa, and Exmore, VA


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Drum Ribs, DelMarVa, and Exmore, VA

John Salmon | Aug 18, 2000 03:39 PM

I was wondering if anyone out there can tell me anything about a fish called "drum", specifically drum ribs.

About 10 years ago I went with some friends to Exmore, VA, almost all the way down the DelMarVa peninsula on the Eastern Shore. We went to a seafood restaurant somewhere near there and were surprised that everyone was eating the special, which was a fish dish called "drum ribs". It was all you can eat for a pretty low price. So we all ordered drum ribs.

My memory isn't too clear on this, but I remember getting surprisingly large "racks" of deep-fried fish ribs, and that the meat was dense and firm, almost like chicken breast. I thought they were very good, and the price was certainly right.

Drum, we were told, are a very large fish that were currently on their annual "run" through the Chesapeake. Apparently it's quite a big deal around there when "the drum are running." We were also told that they got their name from the loud drumming noise they make when they swim.

Anyway, I've got a friend who's going down that way this weekend & I advised him to look for drum ribs. I tried searching the web for more info but surprisingly found very little.

Has anyone tried drum ribs? Is it a very local thing? Anyone know what time they run?

Thanks in advance for any info about this unusual fish/dish!


P.S. The Exmore Diner was GREAT and CHEAP (least it was 10 yrs ago -- got a feeling it hasn't changed much) if anyone's ever down that way. Like a trip back to Mayberry. There's a link to a pic below.

EXMORE, VA 23350


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