Telling the people who read this blog that crabs are good is like telling them that oxygen is good. Of course it is! You gotta have fresh crabs when they're in season. It's the main benefit of living in Maryland.
But...sometimes, something happens. Born and bred Marylanders, spoiled by their years of eating fresh, yummy, accessible crabs, move somewhere else. Somewhere that crabs aren't being caught or served. How do you go on after something like that? Who will save these poor people.
Enter: Curt Engle.
"Marylanders are used to a crab shack on every corner, several seasonal crab feasts and pretty much having crabs whenever they want," he said. "Try and think of crabs like pizza. Imagine you moved somewhere that had no pizza and you have not eaten any in many years."
Yikes! We don't want to think about something so scary. But he's got a solution. Curt's online crab retailer, Harbour House Crabs (rather fittingly, at www.iLoveCrabs.com), can send delicious crabs to your door no matter where in the USA you are. California? New York? Florida? Even as far as Alaska and Hawaii? Done, done and done.
"We are truly faster than Amazon when it comes to delivery," said Curt in an email interview. "You can place an order by the 3 PM Eastern time and receive it the next day. The delivery speed really amazes me especially when going to Hawaii and Alaska. Our customers in these states are so impressed and delighted that this is even possible." Yeah, that's right--move over, Alaskan King Crab.
Curt says Marylanders in the military especially appreciate the service.
"Many times these are to members of the military stationed far away and it always brings us great to joy to send them a package that reminds them of home," he said.
So--wait. How is this even possible? We asked Curt to share his secrets.
"It all starts with quality crabs taken straight from the Chesapeake and Eastern Shore waters," said Curt. "After 15+ years in business, our crabbers know we have high standards and supply us only with the best selection. Once we receive the crabs ( directly off the boat ) we hand pick only the finest crabs from the bunch."
After that, Curt said, it's time to personalize.
"All shipments are steamed to order," Curt told us. "When a customer places an order on our website they can choose their type and level of seasoning. Their crabs are then prepared and neatly packaged with ice inside a protective cooler. This is all done the same day the order is due to leave our facility and sent to the desired destination overnight anywhere in the US.
"We pride ourselves on providing a terrific customer experience by guaranteeing that when you open your package that your crabs arrive fresh and ready to enjoy right out of the box. You can either eat cold or reheat and are literally crackin’ crabs the very next day.
And if you're the type of chef who likes to prepare your own crabs?
"Believe it or not," he said, "We also ship live crabs if you prefer to steam and prepare them yourself."
The site isn't limited to simply steamed crabs, either. Shoppers starved for the taste of the Eastern Shore can buy jumbo lump crab cakes, crab meat, and more.
"One of the most rewarding parts of the work we do is seeing all the heartwarming stories from customers who may have grown up or spent time in Maryland or the Eastern Shore and moved away for one reason or another," Curt said. "They may have not had crabs in 5, 10, 20-- even 30--years and when they receive their first order it instantly brings back fond memories of the time they spent a long time ago feasting on crabs with family and friends. Many are so excited to now be able to share past traditions and create new traditions and memories with their loved ones."
So, we've gotta ask. How does Curt like to eat his crabs?
"Boy…this is a tough one!" he answered. "You ask 100 people this question and you are likely to get a 100 different answers with many similarities as everyone has their own unique style or special method." Hey, crabs are just such a versatile dish, as Curt well knows!
"While I have been to known to eat crabs by myself, I much prefer company," he said. "Family, friends or a stranger you just met at a crab feast, to me is what it’s about. Sitting down with my favorite cold beverage, laying out some old newspaper and going to town. Spending 2 or more hours just slowing down for a little while and enjoying some quality times together."
All photos courtesy of Harbour House Crabs.