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One-Third of Maryland Restaurants Using Imported Crabmeat in "Maryland" Crabcakes


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#1 DJ MC

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 11:39 AM

http://www.baltimore...0331-story.html

 

The study, which tested the genetic material contained in crab cakes at 86 regional restaurants last year, confirmed what many in the industry had suspected for years — that less expensive foreign crab was being passed off as crab from the Chesapeake Bay.


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#2 Mackus

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 11:57 AM

I'm ok with local restaurants using the blue crab that is sourced from warmer waters in the offseason, or even during the season if it's much less expensive, but you cant' say it was caught in Maryland.  Blue crabs from Louisiana or Mexico are the same as what's in the bay and the taste difference is negligible when you're talking about crabs that are steamed, picked, packed, and then pasteurized and shipped as already picked meat to stores or restaurants.  Fresh caught and steamed crabs you can tell the difference, but the packaged stuff is all the same.

 

I'm not ok with difference species of crabs being passed off as blue crabs.

 

I'd like to see if they broke down the deceptive ones by price.  My guess is that places that try to sell crab cakes for $10-13 are the ones that are lying the most, because you simply can't get local jumbo lump meat cheap enough to price crab cakes at that point.  I think it's dishonest for sure, but any consumer who thinks their $12 crab cake came from the Chesepeake is lying to themselves.  If places with $18-24 crab cakes are saying they are locally sourced blue crab but they are some weird species from Thailand, I've got a big problem with that.



#3 DJ MC

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 12:47 PM

I'm ok with local restaurants using the blue crab that is sourced from warmer waters in the offseason, or even during the season if it's much less expensive, but you cant' say it was caught in Maryland.  Blue crabs from Louisiana or Mexico are the same as what's in the bay and the taste difference is negligible when you're talking about crabs that are steamed, picked, packed, and then pasteurized and shipped as already picked meat to stores or restaurants.  Fresh caught and steamed crabs you can tell the difference, but the packaged stuff is all the same.

 

I'm not ok with difference species of crabs being passed off as blue crabs.

 

I'd like to see if they broke down the deceptive ones by price.  My guess is that places that try to sell crab cakes for $10-13 are the ones that are lying the most, because you simply can't get local jumbo lump meat cheap enough to price crab cakes at that point.  I think it's dishonest for sure, but any consumer who thinks their $12 crab cake came from the Chesepeake is lying to themselves.  If places with $18-24 crab cakes are saying they are locally sourced blue crab but they are some weird species from Thailand, I've got a big problem with that.

 

I'll always remember the subs/Chinese place in College Park where the crabcake sub was literally the cheapest sub on the menu. Not bad, all things considered...


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#4 NewMarketSean

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 01:20 PM

This isn't really news if you ask me.

 

I agree with Mackus. I'll take blue crab anyway I can take it but catching them on your own, and eating them that day -- the best way, by far.

 

People always bash G&M for not using MD crab...I never got it. Best crabcake value around for what you get for the price.


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#5 DuffMan

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 01:24 PM

As long as they are males, I don't care where the blue crabs are coming from.

 

And I just had a G&M crabcake last week!



#6 NewMarketSean

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 01:26 PM

Maryland Crabcakes are like Philly cheesesteaks if you ask me, it is in the way it's made, not where the ingredients are from.


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I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?

#7 RShack

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 01:37 PM

Maryland Crabcakes are like Philly cheesesteaks if you ask me, it is in the way it's made, not where the ingredients are from.

 

Exactly right.

 

As for the article, I can't believe this is news to anybody... and I'm surprised the percentage isn't much higher for the crabs from the south... it's been 25 years since I thought it was normal that they sold the Bay crabs to those in NYC for too much money and flew in Gulf crabs to serve in BAL... back when Bo Brooks was still in that wonderful old dump it used to be in, they freely admitted it... 


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#8 Mackus

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 03:04 PM

I'm surprised the percentage isn't much higher for the crabs from the south.

 

The article isn't about whether the blue crabs came from the Bay or from down south.  They have no way of telling where the actual blue crabs came from, so you're probably right that most of the blue crab isn't from Maryland.  This article is about what percentage of the places are serving crab meat that not only isn't from Maryland, but isn't even blue crab, it's instead some other species from overseas or wherever the hell.



#9 DJ MC

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 03:15 PM

The article isn't about whether the blue crabs came from the Bay or from down south.  They have no way of telling where the actual blue crabs came from, so you're probably right that most of the blue crab isn't from Maryland.  This article is about what percentage of the places are serving crab meat that not only isn't from Maryland, but isn't even blue crab, it's instead some other species from overseas or wherever the hell.

 

Right. That's the issue.

 

It would be like finding bottles of "Champagne" that are made from grapes in a developing country and intentionally mislabeled. There is an issue of false advertising, whether unknowingly or on purpose, as well as an issue of what else could be in the mislabeled product.

 

"Maryland crabcakes" are more of a style than a specific local product, sure, and I don't think anyone would complain about the crab meat itself as long as it had a similar taste and texture, and they knew what the meat was for sure. But you really damn well better know that your overseas crab is just that.


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#10 RShack

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 06:14 PM

The article isn't about whether the blue crabs came from the Bay or from down south.  They have no way of telling where the actual blue crabs came from, so you're probably right that most of the blue crab isn't from Maryland.  This article is about what percentage of the places are serving crab meat that not only isn't from Maryland, but isn't even blue crab, it's instead some other species from overseas or wherever the hell.

 

Oh... well, that's a friggin' catastrophe then... for everybody who doesn't like gov't regulating stuff, this is Exhibit A in why we need laws-for-business, including some that we evidently don't have...


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