Appetizers

Dungeness crab is dandy, but try true blue

Crab cakes sizzle in butter over a gas range.
Crab cakes sizzle in butter over a gas range. apierleoni@sacbee.com

The Dungeness crab “migration” from San Francisco to Sacramento has begun, as evidenced by stacks of the delicacy beginning to crowd cold cases in area markets and stores.

If you want to try something different, though, consider the blue channel crab from Maryland, which some say is packed with sweeter meat.

Out of curiosity and for comparison’s sake, we ordered a half-dozen four-ounce crab cakes from one of the many online seafood sources in the East, in this case the Crab Place in Crisfield, Maryland ($54 on sale, down from $60). They arrived frozen, packed in a sealed foam box loaded with dry ice. The label told us the ingredients are “88 percent Maryland lump crab meat,” unsalted Saltine crackers, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, mayo, egg and parsley.

We followed instructions and thawed the cakes in the refrigerator overnight, then cooked them in butter and served them with a from-scratch “aioli” whipped up from ingredients that happened to be on hand — ketchup, mayonnaise, lemon pepper, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce and a dash of chile powder.

Though we would have liked more seasoning in the cakes, they were good enough to disappear quickly. Would we do it again? Sure we would, but first let’s crack open a few Dungeness and eat ‘em over the sink.

To order: (877) 328-2722, www.crabplace.com.

Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.

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