Get caught up with the food scene in Washington, DC, metro neighborhoods with "1 Meat, 3 Sides." This week, Maryland "crab fakes" take center plate:
What's behind our state's signature dish? Not a whole lot of home-grown muscle, it turns out.
When it comes to Maryland crab cakes, "the little-known truth is that our region’s signature dish is rarely regional. More than 43 million pounds of crab meat are imported into Maryland each year, but the Maryland crab meat industry only produces about 700,000 pounds. That means less than 2 percent is from Maryland," Washington City Paper reported.
"The rest [of the crab meat served in the state] is shipped in from Venezuela, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Mexico" and the Gulf Coast, The City Paper added.
It's not illegal to label a dish "Maryland Crab Cake" when it's not made with Maryland crabs—many say the label refers to the style of the dish, not the origin of the protein, The City Paper added.
“For everybody that’s saying they have Maryland crab cake, it’s just not possible,” Steve Vilnit, fisheries marketing director for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, told The City Paper.
Vlint recently launched "True Blue"—a voluntary certification program through the state's natural resources department to promote restaurants purchasing at least 75 percent of their crab meat from Maryland's crab industry, The City Paper continued. (The 75-percent minimum reflects the fact that Maryland crabs are only available for about 75 percent of the year.)
Luke's Lobster, a popular lobster eatery founded three years ago in New York City by Georgetown University 2007 graduate Luke Holden, opened its eighth location on Bethesda Row (at 7129 Bethesda Ln.) on Wednesday, June 14.
At Luke's, "the New England-style split-top buns are first buttered and toasted, then swiped with a thin slick of mayonnaise. Into the bun goes a quarter pound of chilled lobster, shrimp or Jonah crab (less sweet and rich than Maryland’s blue), and then, a sprinkle of lemon butter and celery salt," Bethesda Magazine reported.
A few of Montgomery County's restaurants made the Washington City Paper's list of the 38 most valuable restaurants (including local chains) in the Washington, DC, area:
- A & J Restaurant (1319 Rockville Pike, Ste. C, Rockville), valued for its "delicious Chinese small plates with no attitude (and it’s cheap)."
- Middle East Cuisine (7006 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park), "a Takoma Park oasis, boring name and all. ... Almost everything on the menu is made from scratch and forgoes shortcuts, and dishes boast deep flavors."
- Luke's Lobster (7129 Bethesda Ln.), "the real Maine deal."
- Ren's Ramen (11403 Amherst Ave., Wheaton): "It’s worth the journey to Wheaton to try this Sapporo-style Japanese ramen joint. Located in a strip mall, the no-frills 25-seat spot is a mecca for noodle-soup lovers."
Bacon has been a surprisingly popular up-scale ingredient for a while, topping sweet foods like chocolate and glazed doughnuts to satisfy the American public's taste for salty-sweet foods.
But, if those $10 bacon-dark chocolate bars are not quite in your budget, Burger King has a dessert for you: the bacon sundae, available through Sept. 3, or while supplies last.
The sundae—first sold by Burger King in Nashville, TN, earlier this year—consists of vanilla soft-serve ice cream with fudge, caramel, bacon crumbles and a piece of bacon, the Associated Press reported.
For more photos of the dessert, visit BuzzFeed's website.