Crab Basket

Jay Lloyd / KYW Newsradio

Jay Lloyd's Getaway: Crab Quest

July 19, 2018 - 3:30 am

By Jay Lloyd

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- What do foreign worker visas have to do with crab feast getaways to the Chesapeake Bay? 

Plenty.

You might find more All-You-Can-Eat crab deals at Chesapeake eateries this summer. That's because many of the Mexican crab pickers who seasonally staff the Maryland crab packing houses lost their visas. That's where the smaller crabs that also wind up on all-you-can-eat tables go. But Maryland packing house operator Aubrey Vincent says that's not what large crab seekers are looking for.

"They're your smaller crabs, lighter crabs," Vincent explained, "not the same quality that you're used to buying by the dozen when you sit down to eat at a restaurant."

And because the market is being squeezed by the visa cuts, the price for those meaty number one crabs are clawing their way, skyward. A major distributor tells me, the table price can run over $60 a dozen. But when steamed crabs and a cold beer beckon, who can resist?