Around this time of year we begin to anticipate the Thanksgiving Holiday and meal. For many of us in Northern California that means Dungeness Crab. This year Thanksgiving occurs on Thursday November 28. Will Dungeness Crab be in season and available? As of right now the answer is yes! The crab season is scheduled to open on November 2nd. And, Northern California is in the heart of crab territory.
For those not familiar with Dungeness Crabs, it is one of the largest edible crabs along the Pacific Coast. You can feel good about eating this delicacy as it is recognized as a sustainable seafood. As with all seafood, the fresher the better. This is particularly important with these crabs since they stop eating when removed from their habitat and the crab meat quickly begins to degrade. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to purchase crabs truly “fresh off the boat”.
Since every year the beginning of Dungeness Crab season and Thanksgiving collide, making crab for “Turkey Day” has become a Northern California tradition. So this Thanksgiving consider foregoing Turkey (and the ensuing afternoon nap) and have crab for Thanksgiving.
Although there are many ways to prepare Dungeness Crab, for Thanksgiving many folks roast whole crabs. This makes for a great presentation and a festive, albeit messy, family tradition. Don’t be put off by the messy aspect. It’s part of the tradition and makes for a nice lingering communal get together.
Recipes for roast crab abound. To get some ideas take a look at the following links:
Serving crab also presents an opportunity to have something a little different to drink. Carolyn recommends a nice buttery Chardonnay like the 2017 Closer by KitFox saying it would be an excellent pairing to crab. Or for something different go with a light Rosè like the one from Parmeson Wines. Either wine will make your crab dish shine.
And if you are concerned that by foregoing Turkey you will miss out on all the great recipes for post-Thanksgiving leftovers, just take a look here for an example of all the delicious dishes you can make with any crab leftovers.