Mallets, claw crackers and crabs collide for a good cause on Hilton Head

What makes a crab feast so fun? Eating with your hands? Rubbing shoulders with friends and strangers? Hammering to get to the biggest piece of jumbo lump? 

Yes is the answer to all of these statements, but on the second Saturday of January 2012 when mallets and claw crackers meet crabs it will also mean dining out to benefit 32 local agencies and 42 local programs supported by the United Way of the Lowcountry.

Beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, the Black Marlin Bayside Grill located dockside at Palmetto Bay Marina on Hilton Head Island will offer a Crab Crackin’ event to benefit the United Way. The crab varieties to be served at the event include Blue Crabs, Dungeness Crabs, and Snow Crabs. Hamburgers will also be served and live music will be provided by The Chiggers.

 “This is the second annual event promoted by the SERG Group to benefit the United Way of the Lowcountry and we’re thrilled to be part of such a communal event to give back locally,” says Jill Briggs, executive vice president for the United Way of the Lowcountry.

For more information call the United Way of the Lowcountry Bluffton office at (843) 837.2000

  • Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus): Named for of its blue claws and oval, dark blue-green shell, the blue crab is often found along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Callinectes sapidus means “beautiful swimmer," and it is indeed a beautiful color. Blue crab is the most prolific species on the East Coast of the U.S., ranging from 31/2 inches to 51/2 inches in size. These crabs turn red when cooked. 
  • Dungeness Crab (Cancer magister): Dungeness crabs are native to the Pacific coast and can be found all the way from Alaska to Mexico. This crab is named for the former small town of Dungeness on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State' which was the first city to begin commercially harvesting this delicacy. The Dungeness crab is also a mainstay in the San Francisco area, where it is a featured attraction at the world-famous Fisherman's Wharf. This large crab can range from 1 to 4 lbs. Its pink flesh is succulent and sweet. Only males are harvested; female crabs may not be taken as a way to avoid overharvesting.
  •  Snow Crab (Cancer quanbumi): The snow crab, also known as queen crab, measures up to 2 feet from claw-to-claw and can weigh as much as 3 lbs. Larger snow crabs are harvested in the waters off Alaska, while smaller snow crabs are found in shallow waters