It is August and the crabs are upon us. It happens every year. When it is time to make new crabs, the adults come out to roam the streets for an appropriate mate.
When I lived in Villa Obregon on the laguna, the crabs came across the yard and patio in waves. I would wake in the morning to find them hanging from my screen door like a really bad Irwin Allen movie (cheating fate).
But, that was better than when I lived on the beach. During mating season, I would find crabs in the sink, in the toilet, and climbing the walls. If it wasn't, it should have been, one of the Exodus plagues of Egypt.
Compared to Villa Obregon, Barra de Navidad has been an almost crab-free zone. I see them once or twice a week in the late summer. Each one on his own. Looking for love in all the wrong places -- in the street. Where crabs can be reduced to a fine pâté in seconds.
They are far more ferocious-looking than dangerous. Those Ali-like claws can pinch, but they do not have much of a punch. Of course, when you look that tasty, you need some form of self-defense.
And tasty they do look. I have been told that the meat is good. But the assertion is always made with that look. You know the one. The look with the distinct subtext of "if you like that sort of thing."
I would gladly try it. But I doubt I would like it. My dungeness-trained tongue is rather particular about the crab I eat. My east coast friends laud Chesapeake blue crab. I have never been impressed. When I eat crab, I eat dungeness. Its delicately sweet flesh sets a standard no other crab can meet.
But I will not find any in this part of Mexico. The water is far too warm here. So, crab is off my menu.
Even though I am not fond of fish, I do like seafood. When I cannot get dungeness, I will eat shrimp. And there is a lot of good shrimp here. If you are careful of its provenance.
Unfortunately, my love for shrimp has worked its way out of my diet. Tonight, I had dinner with my friends Ed and Roxane at a restaurant noted for its seafood.
I made it about one-quarter of the way through my pile of shrimp and discovered I had had enough. For tonight. And probably for a year or so. That is the problem with passions. They can burn out quickly.
When I was in Oregon in May, I took a trip to Newport (a blue day in newport) with one culinary treat in mind -- a bowl of dungeness crab. None of the restaurants had any. The catch was light, and they were sold out.
In less than two weeks, I will be in Oregon for my 50th high school reunion. If I do not find dungeness then, it truly will be a crabby day. And shrimp will not do.