Everyone is in place, waiting. Money and honor are on the line. The gate comes up. Bang! They're off!
They are crabs; Chesapeake blue crabs to be specific. A crab race? Really? Yes.
In 1947, the town of Crisfield decided to host a hard crab race outside of their post office as part of a summer Fishing Fair, highlighting their seafood bounty. In Maryland, summer is synonymous with eating blue crabs out on a deck by the water, and Crisfield, located on Eastern Shore between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, is a town that revolves around watermen and fishing culture.
I came across these great clips from WMAR-TV's coverage of the 6th annual crab race via the University of Baltimore's archives, which got me to look into the history of the event a little more.
Let's taste test this stuff.
(For background on the cookbooks I used, visit part 1 of this post.)
The last post was about those Victorian cookbooks, and this one is about becoming a history eater in just a tiny way and testing some of those recipes. (But warning, I'm not a food blogger... don't let anyone every tell you that's easy....)
If it were 1899, and you were making a New Year's resolution, it might be to try that healthy eating style they're calling 'vegetarianism' ....
But if you're not eating the ape and instead sharing dinner with him, what are you eating? Some Victorian cookbooks offered the solution long before the California 1960s hippies did.
Come in, the stacks are open.
Away from prying eyes, damaging light, and pilfering hands, the most special collections are kept in closed stacks. You need an appointment to view the objects, letters, and books that open a door to the past.