Gulf Coast Flavor: Hot Gulf Crab Dip
Posted On Monday, January 25, 2016
The Gulf Coast offers up so many scrumptious delicacies and one of them is Gulf crab meat. As you start thinking ahead to your Superbowl spread, consider adding some Gulf Coast flavor to your table. We have a mouthwatering Hot Gulf Crab Dip that's sure to please your guests on game day—or any day, really.
But first, let's talk a little about crabs on the Gulf Coast.
An Introduction to Gulf Coast Crabs
With more than 4,500 species of crab worldwide, the Gulf Coast is home to about 60 types of crabs which fall into four main varieties found in restaurants and seafood markets here: blue crab, golden crab, Gulf stone crab and Florida stone crab.
- Blue crab: Blue crabs are named for their blue-tinted shells and claws. They're available year-round in all of the Gulf states with peak season in the summer and fall months of the year. Soft shell blue crabs are only found in Louisiana and Florida with their peak harvest time in the spring. They are known for their smooth, buttery taste, which makes them a sought-after favorite here.
- Golden crab: Golden crabs have cream-colored shells that turn a golden shade when cooked. They are available year-round in Florida. Golden crabs are easy to shell and known for their sweet, mild taste making them very versatile for use in a wide variety of recipes.
- Gulf stone crab: These crabs are found in all five Gulf states with peak season running from May to October. Gulf stone crabs are usually brown and maroon in color and have a distinct large crusher claw. When cooked, they turn an orange color. They are sometimes compared to lobster meat with a similar firm texture and sweet taste.
- Florida stone crab: Florida stone crabs are exclusively found in—you guessed it—Florida. They are very similar to Gulf stone crabs in most ways. Florida stone crabs have spotted shells in contrast to the solid-colored shells of the Gulf stone crabs. Same crusher claw, same sweet taste. (You've heard about our Florida stone crab celebrations, right?)
The good thing about the Gulf crab species is that they're available year round so you can use fresh, local crab meat in your dishes winter, spring, summer and fall. Speaking of crab dishes, let's move on to the featured recipe!