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The quality and price of crab cakes varies dramatically. A cheap one likely will be made of little filaments of crab threaded through a mass of seasoned breading; and it probably will be deep fried. On the other hand, along the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay it is not uncommon to pay well over $20 for a crab cake that combines maximum crab and only enough filler to impart a wink of non-crab texture, convey the spice, and frame the meat from which the cake is made. Top-of-the-line crab cakes are broiled just long enough for the meat to warm and for the surface of the mound to develop a gossamer gold crust. The crust is thin enough to clearly show the big white nuggets of crab that compose the cake, some of them so large that they defy dispatch by a single bite. There are Maryland cooks who insist that good cakes should contain at least some claw meat and backfin body meat, which tend more towards shreds than chunks, but doctrinal devotees prefer cakes made of nothing but jumbo lumps, which is the formal name for the choicest meat picked from the hind leg area of the blue crab. Jumbo lump crab is costlier (like the crab cakes made from it). These large pieces of sweet marine meat possess the silky weight that makes Maryland’s beautiful swimmers the stuff of culinary legend.