Soft Shell Crab refers to the blue crab in its molted state. The state where these crabs shed periodically its outer covering, which is the shell, which is then replaced by a new growth. The molting process means an abundant supply of soft crabs from late spring to early fall, with May through September ranking as the most productive months. Like many people thought or believed, Soft Shell Crabs are not a particular species of crab that comes with only a soft shell. Soft Shell Crabs are, in fact, blue crabs, caught when they have molted their hard shells, before they have had time to grow new ones. When buying soft-shelled crabs, make sure they are alive as these crabs spoil very quickly. Look for those with translucent, pearl gray skin, white underbellies and pink tips on their claws. They should be plump and springy to the touch, with no trace of hard carapace. They are available live, fresh or frozen year round. As regards to its taste, soft shell crabs are sweet and tender with a mild, tangy flavor. The simplest method of cooking a soft-shell crab is to bread and fry it. Other information about Soft Shell Crab: They are marketed by size with the largest commanding premium prices. They are measured across the back, point-to-point: Sizes are as follow: Mediums - 3 1/2 to 4 inches Jumbos - 5 to 5 1/2 inches Hotels - 4 to 4 1/2 inches Whales - over 5 1/2 inches Primes - 4 1/2 to 5 inches Nutritional Value: 83 Calories (100 grams , 3.5 oz.) 18.1% Protein 1.1% Fat .32% Omega-3 Traditional Beliefs: The soft-shell season is traditionally marked with the first full moon in May.At that time, the blue crab begins its molting season to accommodate its summer growth.The actual shedding of the shell can take anywhere from one to three hours, after which it must be removed or the hardening process will continue, reducing the quality of the soft-shell crab. Soft-shell crabs are becoming very popular around the world and are considered a delicacy. Because the shell is completely soft and edible, the entire crab can be eaten, although you'll need to dress (clean) them properly first. Soft-shells are best when fresh, although they can be purchased fully dressed and frozen during the off-season. Fried, marinated soft shell crab served with dipping sauce is a wonderful dish made of soft shell crab, like in Japan where they are already made as Soft-Shell Crab Tempura

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