Food - Drink
The Indigenous Origins Of The Humble Crab Cake
Beloved by millions, crab cakes are a crucial component of the Chesapeake Bay diet and can cause a scuffle or two when it comes to which restaurant or tavern makes the best ones. For all the division over whose crab cake is superior, there is no dispute over who originated the crab cake — Native Americans.
Though they may have been made far earlier, current knowledge dates the start of crab cakes to at least the 16th century. According to the Baltimore Sun, Native American women would mix together crabmeat, vegetables, and cornmeal before portioning out the mixture into small balls and frying them in bear fat.
Crab cakes are believed to be one of the earliest recipes colonists adopted from the native population, and despite replacing bear fat with other cooking methods, the method for making crab cakes has remained practically unchanged. Today, the dish is a staple of the Chesapeake region, and a fan favorite across the country.