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A tri-coastal food, crabs are prominent in the cooking of the Mid-Atlantic states, the Gulf Coast, and the Pacific Northwest. A boisterous Mid-Atlantic crab feast, at which utensils are picks and hammers and the tablecloth is newsprint, is a uniquely American casual meal. In Louisiana, crab finds its way into gumbo and etouffee, po boys (soft-shells, please!) deviled crab cakes, and – yes! – savory crab cheesecake. The sweet, pearly meat of Pacific Dungeness crab wants no adornment whatever; it is essential for great crab Louis, crab bisque, and crab chili. And then there is Florida’s stone crab, of which only the claws are eaten. Stone crabs are so regal that Damon Runyon once joked that they are sold by the karat. Their meat is sweet, pearlescent, and full of juice, always served with mustard sauce.