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Jan 31, 2014 11:19 AM

Maryland crab cakes as found overseas

I'm a former Baltimorean now living in the United Arab Emirates. Today we were at a restaurant in a marina outside Abu Dhabi that featured:

Maryland Crab Cakes served with a corn salsa and a tomato-horseradish remoulade and served with a dollop of pommery mustard.

No crackers in sight. I still had to laugh. The restaurant in question was called "Stars and Stripes" and is apparently a US themed restaurant.

Ok, the tomato-horseradish remoulade is probably just fancy speak for cocktail sauce. But has anyone else encountered bizarre interpretations for what constitutes "Maryland" crab cakes?

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  1. What do you mean about the crackers?

    7 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      In my neck of the woods (Baltimore and environs) crab cakes were served with crackers. Particularly premium saltine crackers. No condiments. No lemon slices. No marina sauces.

        1. re: Roland Parker

          Do you mean crushed crackers incorporated into the crab cakes ( ala Faidleys ), or served alongside ( never seen it ) ?

          1. re: Virginian

            traditionally in Baltimore they were served w/ slice of lemon ON one or more crackers

            1. re: fishymd

              i've never seen a crabcake on crackers topped with a lemon. it's always been mustard.

          2. re: Roland Parker

            Thanks for clarifying. I didn't know if you meant cracker in the crab cake or with the crab cake.
            I make mine with saltines.
            I love lemon and all sorts of sauces. I tend to use just lemon when I buy fresh jumbo lump, to keep it as pure as possible.
            I can't wait until crab season now!

            1. re: monavano

              md crab season opens april 1, weather allowing. :) but with the cold winter we've been having, i'm guessing the crabs probably won't be active until mid-may or later.

        2. This is a typical way to serve them even here in the US. I used to live in Memphis TN and a number of the restaurants served them with corn salsa and remoulade. I thin that this goes back to the culinary schools .

          1. Don't know, but being from the Chesapeake you will appreciate this. At a fancy Chicago supermarket I picked up a tin of crabmeat with the brand name Tilghman's. Sounded promising. (To others: Tilghman's Island is a commercial shellfishing star of a place in the Chesapeake Bay.) Then I turned over the can. On the bottom: Product of Indonesia.

            Re crackers: When I lived in Argentina as a girl we would have killed for a plain old US saltine soda cracker. Once when a US Navy ship made a good-will visit to Buenos Aires and some kids from the American school took a tour of the ship, we begged crackers from the cook. Also, for Monavano, "crab on a cracker" in Baltimore means you eat a fried crabcake on a couple of saltines, and not on a fancy plate with what Roland Parker found in the UAR, Chef's Delight. Ah Roland. I wonder if Faidley's is still in business at Lexington Market.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Querencia

              Faidley's is still in business and making crab crakes.

              1. re: jfish

                I've never had their crab cakes, but I use their recipe as my guide.

            2. In our foreign travelers we have seen Maryland Crab Cake on the menus. We have learned that it is best to forego until we return to Maryland. When asked we have been told "Yes they are made of jumbo lump crab." only to be disappointed when our back fin crab cake appears. We like a sprinkle of Old Bay also, but we love Old Bay on everything.

              1. hell, you can find a bizarre interpretation of "Maryland crab cake" right here in the US.

                I've been served some sort of vegetable fritter over which they had apparently waved a dead crab, thus qualifying them to call it a crab cake.

                To me, a crab cake is crab meat with barely enough stuff to keep it from falling apart....

                1 Reply
                1. re: sunshine842

                  Testify. I have had way more pathetic attempts at crab cakes outside of the Chesapeake region than good ones. Recently I had one in West Virginia at a "fine dining" restaurant that had sweet red pepper and corn in it. Either the Chef was hiding something or didnt know what they were doing.