If it's summer, it must be time for crabs.
Washington is luckily located close enough to the Chesapeake Bay to enjoy plenty of fresh Maryland blue crabs during the April 1 to December 15 crabbing season.
Don't just assume that the crab on your plate is from Maryland, though; around 98 percent of crabmeat served in the state annually is imported, often from overseas.
Last year in the Washington City Paper, Young and Hungry columnist Jessica Sidman revealed that even asking where the crabmeat is from doesn't always result in accurate answers:
Some chefs... argue that “Maryland crab cake” refers to the style, not the ingredient. And it’s not illegal to call these Maryland crab fakes “Maryland crab cakes.” But the phrasing is misleading, especially at a time when consumers want to buy local and know where their food comes from.
One way to make sure your crabs are really local: look for the True Blue logo, a Maryland seafood certification that ensures customers "can look at a menu and know right away that they're getting what they think they're getting."
Ready to eat? Here are a few of our favorite places to tuck in a bib and go to town on a bucket of crabs: