Crab with sauce and herbs.

17 Fun Facts About Crabs

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Crabs are one of the most popular and delicious seafood delicacies enjoyed by people all over the world. From the succulent meat of the blue crab to the tender flesh of the Dungeness crab, there’s no denying that crabs make for a mouth-watering treat. In this article, we’ll explore 17 fun facts about crabs as a food that will leave you craving for more.


Before we dive into the fun facts, let’s take a moment to appreciate the versatility of crabs as a food. They can be boiled, steamed, grilled, fried, or even used in soups and salads. Crabs are also a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other essential nutrients.

Facts About Crabs

boiled crab ,cooked crab with ingredients,ready to cook.
  1. There are over 4,500 species of crabs worldwide. However, only a select few are commonly consumed as food. Some of the most popular edible crabs include the blue crab, Dungeness crab, king crab, and snow crab.
  2. Crabs have been eaten by humans for thousands of years. Archaeological evidence suggests that crabs were a popular food source for ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans.
  3. Crabs are a delicacy in many cultures. In Japan, for example, crab is often served as a high-end sushi topping. In the United States, Maryland is famous for its blue crabs, while Alaska is known for its king crabs.
  4. Crabs are usually harvested during the fall and winter months. This is when they are at their peak size and have the most meat.
  5. Crabs are typically cooked alive. This is because their meat can become tough and lose its flavor if they are killed before cooking.
  6. Crabs can be eaten whole. In some cultures, it is customary to eat the entire crab, including the shell.
  7. Crab meat comes in different grades. The most prized and expensive grade is called “jumbo lump,” which consists of large, unbroken pieces of meat from the crab’s body.
  8. Crabs can be a sustainable seafood choice. When sourced from well-managed fisheries and harvested using environmentally friendly methods, crabs can be a responsible and eco-friendly seafood option.
  9. Crabs are a good source of protein. A 3-ounce serving of crab meat contains about 16 grams of protein, making it an excellent choice for those looking to build muscle or maintain a healthy diet.
  10. Crabs are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats have been shown to reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and even boost brain function.
  11. Crabs are low in calories. A 3-ounce serving of crab meat contains only about 80-90 calories, making it a great choice for those watching their weight.
  12. Crabs are a good source of vitamins and minerals. They are rich in B vitamins, including B12, as well as minerals like selenium and zinc.
  13. Crabs can be prepared in a variety of ways. Steaming and boiling are the most common methods, but crabs can also be grilled, baked, or fried.
  14. Crabs can be used in a variety of dishes. They are often used in soups and stews, as well as salads and sandwiches.
  15. Crabs can be paired with a variety of flavors. Lemon, butter, and Old Bay seasoning are classic accompaniments, but crabs can also be seasoned with herbs, spices, and other ingredients.
  16. Crabs can be expensive. Depending on the species and where you live, crabs can be quite pricey. However, many people believe that the delicious taste is worth the cost.
  17. Crabs are a popular ingredient in many cuisines. From Crab Rangoon in Chinese cuisine to Crab Cakes in American cuisine, crabs are a beloved ingredient in many different types of food.
mountain of boiled crabs. exotic thai food

Frequently Asked Questions about Crabs

How are crabs typically prepared and consumed as a dish?

Crabs are prepared and eaten in various ways around the world. Some species are eaten whole, including the shell, while with others, only the claws or legs are eaten. In many cultures, the roe of the female crab is also consumed. Different spices and cooking methods are used in different regions to enhance the culinary experience.

What is imitation crab, and how is it used in cooking?

Imitation crab, also known as surimi, is made from minced fish meat that is crafted and colored to resemble crab meat. It is often used as a cost-effective substitute for real crab meat, especially in sushi and home cooking. Despite some criticism in the culinary industry, it remains popular in certain cuisines.

Do crabs experience pain when boiled alive for cooking?

The issue of whether crabs experience pain is a topic of scientific debate with ethical implications for crab dish preparation. Some evidence suggests that decapod crustaceans, including crabs, may have the capacity to experience pain and suffering, based on their nervous system and behavioral responses to noxious stimuli.

What are some commercially important crab species and their annual yields?

Crabs make up 20% of all marine crustaceans caught, farmed, and consumed worldwide, with several species contributing significantly to the total yield. Examples of commercially important taxa include Portunus trituberculatus, blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister), and Scylla serrata.

What is the significance of crabs in cultural influences and mythology?

Crabs have been depicted and revered in various cultures throughout history. For example, the constellation Cancer and the astrological sign Cancer are named after the crab. Crabs have also appeared in ancient art, mythology, and literature from different parts of the world, reflecting their cultural significance.


In conclusion, crabs are a delicious and versatile seafood option that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. From their rich history as a food source to their numerous health benefits, there’s no denying that crabs are a true culinary delight. Whether you prefer them steamed, boiled, or grilled, we hope that these fun facts have inspired you to try new crab dishes and appreciate this tasty crustacean in all its glory.

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