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Oct 27, 2009 07:32 PM

deviled crab patties in florida

i stopped by hutton's seafood in medart (near apalach) this spring and found deviled crab patties. different than the cuban deviled crab roll/croquette or the deviled crab in the shell, this was a reddish patty of crab and what i assume to be breadcrumbs, etc. it was served fried or seared on the griddle in their trailer. it was savory and a little sweet, and i was surprised to find this variation.

do any of you know if this is a local specialty or does it have roots elsewhere? do any recipes exist? can it be found elsewhere? all info greatly appreciated!

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  1. I am from Panama City and I do not ever remember seeing this. In PC we had deviled crab in the shell or just plain old steamed blue crabs. These patties almost sound like something a Maryland transplant would have brought with them.

    4 Replies
    1. re: rhnault

      not sure it's a "transplant" food, because I've had these patties around Panacea, Spring Creek, and Carrabelle, and they are VERY different from crab cakes. It's almost like a very thick stew (think brunswick stew that's been seared), but instead it's like all crab and some reddish sauce and maybe some egg in it. As I mentioned in the other thread, Posey's Steam Room and Oyster Bar does deviled crab exactly the way OP mentioned (see photo of my recent meal there with deviled crab in the upper right corner of the plate at this link - ), and the Posey family has been around Panacea for as long as Panacea has existed. Same with the Lovels in Spring Creek.

      It's also sold in containers up around those parts. Mineral Springs Seafood has them. So does Southern Seafood up in Tallahassee. I think a tub at Mineral Springs Seafood (which I believe is pint-size) runs around $9.

      Perhaps it's a very localized cultural thing around the Big Bend coast; the seafood in Panama City, FL has a different feel to it than the "Forgotten Coast" variety.

      1. re: mikeh

        It must be a Big Bend thing.

        Many years ago I had crab cakes/patties made by a crabber in Wakulla which were unlike any I've had before or since anywhere else.

        1. re: mikeh

          we're on the same page, mikeh. It doesn't seem like a transplant thing at all to me, but a very local tradition unique to the apalach area. i'm intrigued!

          1. re: andy huse

            I'll check out my Apalachicola Jr league cookbook for recipes

        This recipe for the Wakulla County staple, deviled crab, comes from Posey's Restaurant in Panacea, Florida (our Southern neighboring town). Our long time friend and former yard boy, our sort of second kid, Dax Courson's grandparents cook at Posey's and are also ardent Seminole Boosters. They have a cooking bus which can frequently be found in the Golden Chief's' parking lot at Doak Campbell Stadium doing the tailgating thing. When we feel the need to catch up on Dax, we mosey on down to Posey's and dish the dirt with Grandma, while dining on the thoroughly local delicacies. This recipe is 75 years old.


        1 pint fresh crab meat
        2 eggs, beaten
        1/2 cup milk
        1 stick butter
        1 medium onion, chopped fine
        1/2 cup catsup
        2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
        1 Tablespoon lemon juice
        1 teaspoon celery salt
        soda crackers, crushed


        Mix first 9 ingredients together, adding enough crushed crackers until thick enough to hold together. Make a mound of the mixture on a soda cracker and round off to cover cracker (or put the mixture mounded in a shell or a ramekin). Bake at 350-375 degrees until light brown.

        5 Replies
        1. re: rhnault

          oh thank you so very much. seriously, you've made my year with this. I was already having separation anxiety from the past 1 1/2 months I spent in the Big Bend where I grew up and have family, but now I know what to make this weekend.

          1. re: mikeh

            I would not have found it so quick without the restaurant name. Google was quick to find it. I think I am going to make some soon myself.
            I still want to dig out the Apalachicola cookbook and see if they have a version.

            Do you still live in Fl?

            1. re: rhnault

              nope. I've been living in NC for the past three years, but chances are I'll be back in FL down the road. Once a Floridian, always a Floridian.

          2. re: rhnault

            we owe you for this recipe. what an interesting local specialty. i really want to eat one now. thanks for that, too!

            1. re: andy huse

              Andy, I think yours would be better than mine ;-)

              Maybe you can get the chef at the Columbia to whip up a batch for your reception