Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Crabs are tailless. Instead they have a massive cephalothorax, whose musculature enables these creatures to live in the deepest sea, burrow on land, and climb trees. Most crabs have one or two powerful claws for holding, cutting, and crushing their prey. Crab claw meat is flavorful but coarser and harder to get at than the body meat, and generally not as prized. Exceptions are the massive and flavorsome single claws of the Florida stone crab and European fiddler crab. The legs of the north Pacific king crabs, which can span 4–6 ft/1.2–1.8 m, provide large cylinders of meat that are often sold frozen.