EATING CRABS...where adults are encouraged to wear a bib, eat with their hands, get food on the table, pound on the table, throw their leftovers in a pile, generally make a mess...and have a great time picking crabs.

There are probably as many ways to pick and eat steamed crabs as there are "crab pickers" in Baltimore. The following photos and descriptions should serve to get you started.

Just a few hints:

Crab mallet for steamed crabs

Tools: All you need are a mallet, a dull knife, and plenty of Kraft paper (or maybe newspaper) to cover your table.

Remove the steamed crab claws

Remove the front claws: Put them aside, you can come back to them later.

Steamed Crab Legs Being removed

Pull off the rest of the legs: Sometimes, you get lucky and some crab meat pulls out with them. Just enjoy it.

Open the steamed crab apron

Open the apron: Pull up the apron on the bottom of the crab and break it off.

Open the steamed crab body and remove the shell

Open the crab: You can now easily pull the hard shell off of the top of the crab.

Clean our the innards of the steamed crab - remove the lungs

Clean out: Scrape out and discard anything that does not look appealing to you - the yellow "mustard" and the lungs (sometimes called the devil's fingers).

Break the steamed crab body in half

Break in half: You are now down to the main part of the crab. Simply grasp it in both hands and break it in half to expose the sweet crab meat.

Enjoy the sweet meat from your steamed crabs

The crab meat...
...can be found in all of the little nooks and crannies. This is some of the finest tasting seafood to be had anywhere.

Oh yes, what are the mallet and knife for? The knife (not sharp, please!) helps to pull the crab meat out from all the little nooks and crannies. And the mallet - well, each large claw also contains some fine-eatin' meat - use the mallet to crack the claws. Actually, the only essential "tool" is the paper to cover the table. The mallet and knife only make things a "little" easier, but they definitely add to the fun