Tuesday, July 20, 2010

King Crab: The Seafood of Legends

It turns out that seafood is far more than food from the sea. It is food for thought as well, and apparently legends. 
I discovered this recently as I was fixing one of the family’s favorite seafood, King Crab Legs
. My youngest was playing with one of the legs and peppering me with questions about where it came from, if the females are called “Queen Crabs,” how big they get, etc.
So with the help of his big sister, they did a little internet research which they then shared at the table. While we cracked the steaming succulent crab legs and dipped them in butter, here is some of what we learned about King Crabs:
·         Alaska King Crab is known as “The Deadliest Catch.”
 A popular Discovery Channel series of the same chronicles the harsh reality of those who endanger their lives to bring us crabs. (So now we will look forward to the reruns of what we’ve missed!)
·         In Alaska, king crab fishing is limited to a short period each year, making it a sustainable catch, so you can enjoy those King Crab Legs
for years to come.
·         King crabs
, which can reach 15 pounds and live over 20 years, are the largest members of a “superfamily”of decapods crustaceans.   
·         Most harvested are the males, and generally between 4 and 9 pounds.
·         The tail of one female can hold thousands of embryos for the 11 months until they hatch. (And snow crabs, not female king crabs, get called queens by some.)
·         Surprisingly, the king crab is generally believed to be derived from the hermit crab.
·         Its predators include cod, halibut, other king crabs, and us!
·         They are a great source of low-fat protein. A 3 -ounce (84 gram) serving boasts 16.45 grams of protein and only 1.31 of total fat (and only 0.113 of that is saturated).
·         None other than Rudyard Kipling immortalized a King Crab in “The Crab that Played with the Sea
,” one of his Just So Stories. (Click for a treasure chest of bedtime stories!)
An amazing thing happened as the children were sharing this with us at the table. They started eating slower, clearly savoring the food more. They even expressed appreciation for all the hard work that it took to bring these delicious King Crab Legs
to our table. (They thanked me too, by the way!)
Now let’s see what happens when I order some fresh King salmon! This could be the start of a really enjoyable family tradition: sharing delicious seafood, stories, facts, and appreciation!

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