Cornish and Cromer Crab – meat, dressed, claws or whole
Brown crab – Cancer Pagarus
It’s summertime and it’s time to crack open one of our nations favourite crustaceans!!!
The brown crab is abundant around the UK coast with two areas standing out for the size and traditions of their crab industries – Cornwall, and Cromer in Norfolk. Our man Pete in Cromer gave us a ring a few weeks ago, sounding really excited that he had landed a good catch of crab. He is a one-man-in-a-boat outfit and sells us the best quality crabs. Cooking a crab is a specialist job and most people just want to get straight into the delicious meat, so most of our brown crab is cooked.
Cromer crab fishermen filmed in 1982. The methods still remain similar to this video with wooden boats being launched off the beach.
Just in case you were wondering, brown crab has inbuilt sustainability because when female crabs are carrying eggs – a period of about six months (and they will typically carry two million eggs) – they hide themselves away and do not eat. Thus they cannot be lured into a crab pot.
But….if you’d like to try something different….
Spider crab – Maja squinado
Spider crabs are caught sustainably but are less common on British dinner tables than the brown crab and they don’t yield as much meat, but the meat is esteemed by gourmets. The claws are full of delicious white meat that is a prized delicacy in Spain and France. Spider crabs are large spiky creatures that are common around Cornwall’s coast. They can grow to a span of 80cm.
The salmon in this video is an organically farmed fish that has been shipped down overnight from Scotland. We believe there is a distinct difference in the standard of farmed and organically farmed salmon that comes from Scotland. They are noticeably superior in condition and taste. The methods in which the fish are farmed is also deemed more humane. The fish have more room to swim and are not crammed into nets extremely tightly like the common methods used in ‘budget salmon farming’.
Earlier this month we were kindly invited to The Hungry Guest in Petworth to host a seafood demonstration. The Hungry Guest are an award winning food group based in Petworth who have a deli, frozen shop and cafe under their umbrella. We had previously attended their supplier demonstration nights and were very impressed, so we were grateful when we were offered our own position.
We took a black cod, halibut and some giant prawns for the demo. Alistair explained the different cuts, farming or catch methods and touched on some simple cooking tips. Below are a few clips from the evening. What you do not see in the video is the extensive distribution of raw fish to the audience. They may have got more than they bargained for with Alistair sending round boards of raw cuts from different parts of the fish to describe tastes and textures.