Can you tell the difference between a male and female crab?  

She-crab Soupenlarge
Fran Gealer

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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"I have a recipe that calls for she-crab. Is it possible to tell the difference between a male and female crab? "

 

It is all in the way they wear their aprons! Seriously, when you turn a crab over, you’ll see what is called the apron in the center of the underside. She-crabs sport a wide triangle shaped apron, while male crabs’ (aka Jimmies) aprons are narrow, fairly straight up and down with a small triangle at one end, almost like a T.

Spring she-crabs get flavor from their roe (which also lend an orange color to soups and sauces). It is a matter of debate whether older or non-egg bearing she-crabs have a different flavor and texture from their male counterparts.

Here's a recipe from Coastal Living for she-crab soup:  She-crab Soup

Marge Perry
Sep, 2012
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