Soft-shell crabs are among the most delectable, and the most seasonal, of sea creatures. Maryland Blue crabs molt between mid-May and late September, and for two days the crab's brand-new shell is as tender as a fresh basil leaf. Besides being succulent, soft-shells are clean: they stop eating three days before molting, so their digestive systems are purified when the watermen retrieve them from the floats where they're kept. And, yes, in case you wonder, you do
eat the whole thing.