Many of you who know me are probably wondering how on earth I was able to review a shellfish-based product given my severe allergy to all things shellfish. Well, I enlisted the help of GFM’s ever fabulous Mom. My mother is actually one of the best cooks out there. I know, I know, everyone says that about their Mom – but mine actually made a living at it. She’s a tough critic and we always joke when we go out to eat with her because some of her favorite comments are things like I would have made it this way or Why did they use that ingredient?
We have traversed the world together and have eaten everywhere from back alleys in China to Al Muntaha high atop the Burj Al Arab together. She is my travel (and food) partner in crime and I am sure she will not mind me saying that for a 70-something year old she is more active than most people half her age.
So why have her review crab cakes? Well, she actually has a particular penchant for them. She is a crab cake aficionado if you will, and has definitely eaten her fair share of them. She was so excited to give the cakes from The Crab Ladies a try so that I could share a review with you I would have not been able to do otherwise.
The Ladies were so kind and shipped six of their crab cakes to my mother’s front door. Included was two each of their gluten-free flavors: Original; Artichoke Three Cheese; and Bacon & Gruyere. What’s nice about the Crab Ladies cakes is that they found a way to make a frozen crab cake that actually tastes fresh – which my mother confirmed.
First up was the Artichoke Three Cheese variety. My mother followed the heating instructions to the letter and she said the cakes cooked up absolutely amazing. Finished under the broiler for just a hint of crispiness and they are good to go. Mom said that they were the perfect portion for one and this flavor was the perfect balance between the wonderfully meaty texture of the crab meat, the woodiness of the artichoke and slight saltiness of the cheese.
The next flavor up was the Bacon & Gruyere variety. These were also a hit with Mom. She found the subtle flavor of the bacon to work really well with the muted richness of the Gruyere. She noted that the onion in this variety really came through without being overpowering.
The final flavor was actually Mom’s favorite – though can you really choose a favorite child? Ever the culinary purist, she immediately gravitated to the plain variety. She has long been of the school that a few, simple, fresh ingredients make the most memorable meals. The plain cake had just the right amount of seasoning and incorporated an impressive range of spices without having any of them overpower each other. Mom also noted that (as was the case with all the cakes) the bread to crab ration was spot on. Oftentimes places try to save on the crab meat and tend to bulk up on the fillers – not the case here. My mother noted that she could easily tell that these were minimally processed and the crab maintained its lump integrity in each cake she sampled.
So, a round of thanks to my mother and the ever fabulous Crab Ladies for making what seemed like an impossible review possible. Head on over to their site to see the full range of crab cakes (both GF and regular are available). You can order right online and have them shipped frozen to your door. Here’s your change to get fabulous Maryland crab cakes from Maryland to wherever you might be. A six pack sampler is $63.00 plus shipping but, as my mother put it, definitely worth the price and actually on par or less than you would expect to pay for similar quality in a restaurant. They are also available at select retailers.
The Crab Ladies are also certified from Institute of Agricultural and Natural Resources Food Allergy Research & Resource Program at the University of Nebraska Lincoln and you can view their certification on their site.