Agriculture Press Release

July 4, 2000

American Blue Crab -- A Gourmets Delight

TALLAHASSEE -- Succulent, exquisite, rich and creamy, melts in your mouth -- these are only some of the words heard describing blue crab meat, Floridas east- and west-coast delicacy harvested for more than a century. It seems blue crab now has an Asian competitor, but only one can be called authentic -- USA American Blue Crab. It is the only crab of its species that can be labeled "blue crab" meat. Some processors are mixing blue crab meat with the Asian import, "swimming blue crab;" and labeling some containers "crab meat" which contain only imported "swimming blue crab."

"We need to educate the Florida consumer on the quality, availability and characteristics of American Blue Crab meat," Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Bob Crawford said. "The Department is working with seafood marketing specialists from five other states to develop a blue crab marketing campaign."

The American Blue Crab Marketing Alliance Group -- a collection of state seafood marketing specialists from Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Louisiana -- took the first step of this campaign by developing a consumer identifier program. They created a "USA American Blue Crab" label to place on containers of fresh and pasteurized blue crab meat.

"Now with the labeling program, consumers will be able to easily select 100 percent USA American Blue Crab meat at their grocers, seafood market or restaurants," Crawford said.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services conducted a blind taste test with 30 participants comparing crab cakes made from blue crab with those made from Asian crab meat. Blue crab cakes won hands down with 84 percent of the participants preferring the American product.

"The (USA American) blue crab meats rich and creamy delicacy can be detected throughout the crab cakes lending itself to a gourmets journey into a delightful experience," said Tom McGinty, executive chef with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Fresh or pasteurized blue crab meat can be purchased as lump, backfin, special or claw. Lump and backfin consist of large pieces of meat and should be used in recipes where appearance is important. For soups, dips and casseroles use the special and claw varieties for a delightful twist. Tempt your taste buds by substituting blue crab meat in recipes calling for crab or lobster. Youre sure to experience a gourmets delight.

To discover delicious and savory American Blue Crab recipes and preparation tips, write for a free copy of the USA American Blue Crab brochure by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

USA American Blue Crab brochure
Bureau of Seafood and Aquaculture Marketing
2051 East Dirac Drive
Tallahassee, FL 3231-3760

or access the American Blue Crab web site at http://www.americanbluecrab.com .

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Editor: Please send a tearsheet of your published article to: Cathy Sanford, Bureau of Seafood and Aquaculture Marketing, 2051 East Dirac Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32310-3760.


For more information:
Terence McElroy
(850) 488-3022

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