Are you a crab picker or a crab piler?



This was the question du jour last Saturday night as the Smith and McGough families embarked on their second annual Fisherman’s Club Crab Feed in Lincoln, California.

In our group of 10 (plus baby Will made 11), the majority of the Smith/McGough clan are pilers: carefully selecting the perfect piece to crack open, cultivating the most meat possible, then creating a pile only eaten once it’s big enough for it to be considered a meal.


Unfortunately I was the odd woman out, as I don’t have the devotion to crab or the patience for the piling process. I’m a picker: crack the crab leg, pull out the meat and eat it. Repeat. I must admit, since my husband is a piler, it’s very convenient for me to have an empty plate between picking as I always get sympathy bites from his pile!


Whether you are a picker or a piler, crab feeds are fun way to really get into your food. How many other opportunities do you have to wear a bib and get messy unless you’re under the age of three? And it’s not just about the crab, we enjoyed appetizers, shrimp cocktail, coleslaw and clam chowder. Half the fun is taking part in such an elaborate production in which you must be prepared with wine and wine glasses, butter warmers, special sauces, and crab crackers and pickers. The ill-prepared will still have a good time, but going bare bones once will teach you to build up your crab feed experience with all the trimmings next time!

So whether you’re a picker or a piler, crab lover or just plain crabby, you are sure to enjoy a good time with family or friends at a crab feed.

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Melinda | Feb 6, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    I’m with you Vanessa, I am definitely a picker!

  • Christine | Feb 6, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    I’m a picker, too. Don’t understand how people can refrain from eating the meat as soon as it’s out of the shell. Crab feeds rule!

  • Katey Bacigalupi | Mar 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    I’ve totally thought of this before! I am definetly a piler.