While crabs do not have teeth inside their mouth, some crabs—such as the brown crab—have teeth in their stomachs. These grind against one another when the stomach contracts to mash up food.
COOKING / EATING BENEFITS
The crab’s external skeleton protects a soft, flavoursome flesh which is sweet and succulent. Crabs are generally in season from April until November.
Choose crabs that feel heavy and don’t have liquid sloshing around inside them The sweet, delicate, white meat is in the claws and rich, savoury brown meat in the bodies. (If it’s the white meat you like then you’re better off buying a cock or male crab). When buying from a fishmonger it is better to buy the crab while it is still alive (they can stay alive for up to 3 days if kept in a cool, damp environment). Alternatively, you can freeze cooked crabs and use them within three months.
The brown crab can weigh as much as three kilos and is popular as a dressed crab or in dishes like mousses, soufflés and bouillabaisse. They are at their best in spring when the meat is sweet and flavourful, making them excellent for more simple preparation such as in salads, pastas, risottos and sandwiches. Absolutely beautiful with a dollop of homemade mayonnaise. Be careful not to drown the delicate flavour with Asian-style cooking. It’s best to cook crab on the shell to avoid losing the delicious flavour.
There are many good reasons to eat British crab. As well as being a relatively affordable delicacy (especially when compared with lobster), its increasing popularity is good news for the fishing industry, as it is also pretty sustainable.