With the arrival of spring, temperatures start to get milder which is one of the reasons that I like the season. If you are a foodie like myself, it also mark the arrival of a friendly crustacean, the blue crab.
The snow crab is the first crustacean to arrive in Quebec fish stores. I love its tender and delicate meat in omelettes, rice or pasta dishes. Although it is easier to cook than lobster, it is more messy to shell than lobster. You can buy this specialty, alive or cooked. It is important to know that only 25% of the weight of the crab is comestible.
The crab should be consumed within 1 or days whetever is alive or cooked. The live crab should react when touched and the cooked one should have a fresh marine smell, not ammonia. The meat of the crab is rich in proteins, low in fat and with plenty of minerals.
There are many types of crab in Spain. From the large, expensive bueyes del mar to the smaller, more affordable nécoras, there is a type of crab for every taste and pocket.
Buey de mar. This is the brown crab, who are called “ox of the sea” as they can weigh up to 3 kilos. The body is often cracked open and used as a bowl for a soup using the crab meat.
Cangrejo de mar. This is thelittoral crab, much smaller than a buey de mar, these little crabs are usually 3 or 4 centimeters long. Very tasty.
Nécora. This is the velvet crab, one of the cheapest crabs in Spain. You can find nécoras for as inexpensive as 10 euro per kilo, although the price will increase during the Christmas season.
Centollo. This is the spiny spider crab, this gnarly looking crab has a lot of flavor but be sure to choose the female! They have more meat and more flavour.
Here is my top Cavas to go with this happy crustacean that wont break the bank:
Codorniu, Selección Raventós Brut. SAQ Code: 12206671. Price: $17.35
Lovely nose recalling green apples, spices and dry fruits. On the mouth, it is medium body. Very fresh with a good bubble. Fruity recalling aromas of pears, cream and quince. Easy going with a cleansing finale. Enjoy with a crab omelette for saturday brunch. 92/100
Parés Baltà Cava Brut. SAQ Code: 10896365. Price: $17.95
One of my favorite producers of Cava. This cuvee, is one of the best values at the SAQ in the sparkling wine category. On the nose, this cava reminds me of white peaches, apples, pears, melon and lime. On the palate, it is a tad richer than the Codorniu with decadent flavours of apple, honeydew, peach and mineral notes. It is very straigfoward and nicely balanced, with a clean finish of tropical fruits. 94/100. Have it with warm buttered crab.
Freixenet Cordon Negro. SAQ Code: 0008591. Price: $14.85
Freixenet is one of the largest sellers of sparkling wine in the world. This popular cuvee caracterized by its black bottle has a very citrusy nose bringing to mind meyer lemons and oranges. On the mouth, it has a floral and mineral nuances with a slight sweet poise. 90/100. Should be interesting with crab coconut milk soup.