Judging from a crab's appearance, you would never guess that this leggy crustacean was hiding such sweet, delicate meat inside. Crabs live in both saltwater and freshwater, but when you spot them on your favorite restaurant's menu, they're likely from the ocean. You can catch blue crabs up and down the Atlantic and in the Gulf of Mexico, stone crabs off the coast of Florida, Dungeness crabs in the Pacific and king and snow crabs in the colder waters of the North Pacific. Food & Wine's guide to crab has plenty of recipes highlighting all your favorite varieties.

Buttery Crab Casseroles

The simple seasonings in this recipe from the Irish coast, inspired by the luscious buttery crab crumble served at Vaughans Anchor Inn, highlight the crab’s sweetness rather than overpower it. Brown crabs, typical in Ireland’s coastal waters, can be substituted with fresh Dungeness crabs, prized for their high yield—look for them at the fish counter at your local grocery store. The crabmeat mixture yields enough to fill 4 (12-ounce) mini casseroles or 1 (2-quart) baking dish. Serve the buttery crab casseroles with a tossed salad for a complete meal.
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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Dungeness Crab

If your knowledge of the West Coast’s favorite crustacean is limited to the fact that they’re delicious, then this list is for you.
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King Crab Rolls with Spicy Mayonnaise

Ludo Lefebvre’s sushi filled with crabmeat and Sriracha-spiked mayo are rolled in sheets of soy paper instead of nori (seaweed paper). These versatile wrappers can also be used as a spring roll wrapper or even as a dessert wrapper. Slideshow: How To Make Sushi
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Crab and Smoked Salmon Pintxos with Vanilla Oil

These delightful pintxos combine a lemony fresh crab salad with smoked salmon and salty pops of salmon roe. A drizzle of fragrant vanilla oil is a surprise complement to the seafood, but it can be optional. Slideshow: More Crab Recipes
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What Is Imitation Crab, Anyway?

The crustacean stand-in is used in a variety of dishes and in restaurants. Learn how it’s made and how to recognize it in your next sushi roll.
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The 13 Best Places to Eat Crab in Maryland This Summer

Finding good crab in Maryland is kind of like sourcing a decent taco in Texas: You know you can throw a stone and find a spot, but there are just so many options that it can be tough to weed out the very best of the bunch, or the boil, so to speak. That's why we turned to in-the-know chefs for the top places to enjoy crab around the state. Here are their top 13 recommendations for your summer eating adventures.—Jillian Kramer
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More Crab

A Guide to Maryland Crab Season

Chesapeake Bay blue crabs are Maryland’s pride and joy—and for good reason. These famous sea dwellers are both fun to catch and delicious to eat. Recreational crabbing season, which started in early April, is now in full swing and you don’t even need a license to get in on the crab catching. Here, how to celebrate the national treasure of Maryland’s waters: blue crab.
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Crab Tartines

At San Francisco’s Tartine Manufactory, chef Sam Goinsalvos makes mayo from scratch for his much-loved crab tartine, but subbing in store-bought mayo doctored with plenty of mustard is a good shortcut. Slideshow: More Tartine Recipes
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Crab Cakes

Making your own crab cakes might sound intimidating, but this popular dish is actually easy to make at home. Here, our favorite crab cake recipes to inspire you, from classic Maryland-style crab cakes to crisp crab cakes with chipotle mayonnaise.