View Full Version : Ammonia Crabs
06-13-2005, 05:55 PM
A guy at work went to a crab house in Cecil County with his wife to celebrate their wedding anniversery and bought steamed crabs for $44.00 a dozen. As they ate he found that 3 of the crabs had a strong ammonia smell. I'm not posting the name of the restaurant because he complained, and the eaterie gave him different crabs.
My question is, what do you think causes this? I have found that when I catch crabs in the Trad Avon or Wye Rivers we don't have this problem. But sometimes crabbing in the Elk or Bohemia Rivers we get some "ammonia" crabs.
I'm very careful not to steam crabs that are dead when I'm cooking.
Do you think it's the area the crabs come from, dead crabs or just "reheats"? Lance
06-13-2005, 06:12 PM
No doubt about it. They were not fresh!
06-13-2005, 06:19 PM
Probably reheated crabs that went bad. Ammonia is a natural decomposition product of seafood, and cooked crab can go over the edge quickly. Anytime you buy cooked crabmeat products you should watch for that, especially crab dishes that have a crusted layer on top where it is easy to check--pierce it when it first arrives from the kitchen, the steam better smell like crab and not ammonia. I was recently served a baked crab dish at a prominent Wash DC seafood house and it smelled like ammonia, sent it back and got another that was worse. I did not pay and I will never go back--life is too short for bad seafood at top dollar places.
All this makes those crabs you catch yourself taste even better--you know exactly where they were caught and how they were handled and cooked.
06-13-2005, 06:20 PM
Reheats. I don't buy steamed crabs from restaurants or crab houses - they all reheat crabs. I've got some nice perks this year since my daughter works part time for a crab house - no more reheats for me.[grin] There's no shortage of poor ethics, only the dollar counts[sad].
06-13-2005, 07:03 PM
The human nose is fairly sensitive to amonium. In food products, when dedected, it means nasty things. Its usually the product produced far along in the decomposition process. Send it back and refuse to pay.
06-13-2005, 07:08 PM
Your nose knows.[grin]
06-14-2005, 08:35 AM
They were dead before they were cooked.
Crow Bait is on the money,,They were dead before they were cooked,,I would avoid that restaurant[sad] in the future
06-14-2005, 05:40 PM
Thanks for the replies, still hate to post the name of the restaurant because it is a good place to go and have some crabs. Maybe they got a bum deal and are paying the price now?[sad]