Browse below to explore the delectable cuisine of Tidewater, as featured in the Our Commonwealth in-exhibition interactive.
Blue Crabs | Historic Hams | Oysters | Famous Peanuts | Potatoes in Virginia | Native Strawberries
Blue crabs range from Nova Scotia to Argentina but are synonymous with the Chesapeake Bay. The crustaceans thrive in the brackish estuaries and salt marshes of eastern Virginia, which chefs believe give the Chesapeake Bay blue crab a distinctively sweet, delicate flavor. Bay watermen and women trap blue crabs from late spring to early winter and take their catch to processing houses where workers pick the tender meat from the shells. Crabs can be boiled or steamed, fried as soft shells (right after the crab molts its old shell), or made into cakes, soups, and dips.