The Major League Baseball right fielder Roberto Clemente's favorite food, according to his son Roberto Clemente, Jr., was live crabs. Roberto was 7 years old when his father passed away in a plane crash traveling from Puerto Rico to Nicaragua for earthquake relief. While mentioning live crabs, Clemente, Jr. also relates funny instances when "the crabs would escape from the crate and run all over the house."
Crabs can be purchased fully cooked; however, crabs can be bought live as well. Live crabs are cooked by boiling them. They are placed in boiling salt water and cooked until the water starts to boil again. The crabs are allowed to cook for another 15 minutes, removed from the boiling water and placed in cold water. The crabs are then cleaned and served. One of the varieties of crabs that are eaten live is the Dungeness crab, which is found at many locations in the United States, including Washington, California, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. This crab variety has a mildly sweet taste and about 1/4 of the weight of the crab is meat.
Crab meat is usually removed using devices such as crab crackers, shrimp forks, mallets, cleavers and small hammers. However, hammers and mallets are used with caution in order to not break the crab meat's delicate structure and retain its quality. Other than boiling, crabs can also be half-baked after cutting them from head to tail and removing their guts. This method is often considered better than boiling, as the meat is not contaminated by the flavor of the guts and retains its original flavor.