Proper Crab Attire

You can always tell who is from out-of-state by what they’re wearing. Go into Bo Brooks, my favorite crab joint, and you’ll immediately be able to point out the tourists – the ones dressed in their Sunday best.

Maryland natives know that crabs stain and have a distinctly fishy smell. Jeans and a T-shirt are the preferred crab-eating attire.

Setting the Table

You don’t want to put dents in Grandma’s mahogany table or make Mom’s dining room smell like a fish market.

Crabs are meant to be eaten outside. Break out the old picnic table and don’t be afraid to take a cue from Miss Frizzle and “Take chances, make mistakes and get messy!”

Here’s what you’ll need to get started.

Crab Newspaper
Most people cover the table in newspaper, but if you're really feeling adventurous, you can use a roll of brown mailing paper. Don't forget to put out crayons so your guests can color on the table.
Crab Plates
Save the plates for dessert. We're not savages, but plates really complicate the process. That's why we put down newspaper.
Crab Napkins
Make sure you have plenty of napkins. Since crabs are finger food, you'll want to make sure the napkins are easily accessible. Moist towel wipes work well, too.
Crab Bucket
A bucket should be within an arm's reach of everyone at the table. Guests can toss the remains into the bucket as they go, making clean-up much easier.
Crab Mallet
A crab mallet is the most important tool of all. Guests should have their own mallet so they can use it to get the meat, pulverize the shell and whack their neighbor.