Linguine pasta with crab meat. Claudio Restaurant. Bergeggi. Liguria. Italy. Europe. (Photo by: Paolo Picciotto/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
Here's How The Grades Of Crab Meat Are Determined
Crab is one of the most versatile types of seafood that is delicious as a single ingredient in a dish or served by itself. You can even buy convenient pre-picked crab, which is crab that has been cooked, cleaned from the shell, packaged, and ready to use; however, you'll notice different kinds of picked crab have different grades.
There are four grades of crab you can find in the supermarket, and each grade comes from a different part of the crab’s body: jumbo lump, lump, backfin, and claw. The price differences between these categories can be substantial, ranging from $25 to $50 per pound, and the highest-grade, most expensive type of crab is a jumbo lump.
Jumbo lump meat comes from two large muscles on the crab's back; since each crab only has two, jumbo lump meat is rare, prized for its subtly sweet flavor, and often served whole. The next grade is lump crab meat, which consists of broken pieces of jumbo lump and other chunks from the crab that is well-suited for pastas and omelets.
Backfin grade crab meat is essentially smaller pieces of lump meat mixed with flaked pieces of body meat, and makes for great crab cakes. Finally, there’s claw meat, which comes from the crab’s swimming fins and claws; since it comes from the most active part of the crab, this meat is stronger in flavor and works well in soups and dips.