Popular Trend: Giving Loved Ones a Case of Crabs for the Holidays

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Unusual holiday dinners are becoming more popular thanks to the Internet and overnight shipping.

We've had tremendous response from people discovering Maryland blue crabs as a great meal for special occasions, and the the holidays fit that bill to a tee.

Turkeys and hams are taking a back seat to a new trend -- breaking open a case of crabs at the holiday dinner table. "People are searching for new ways to celebrate old traditions" states Harbour House Crabs owner Curt Engle. "And ripping open a box of fresh crabs, complete with napkins, mallets and crab cakes, is just another fun and creative way to celebrate the season."

Indeed the trend has seemed to catch on as Engle's crab company was recently featured in Real Simple magazine, as well as Food & Wine. "We've had tremendous response from people discovering Maryland blue crabs as a great meal for special occasions, and the the holidays fit that bill to a tee." Recently back from Wango Tango in Anaheim, CA, Engle served a number of high profile celebrities who are also getting in on the trend. "Among them we served The Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Lopez and Kelly Clarkson. So we'll have to see if our crabs make it on their wish list."

Another responsive group are former east coasters that grew up enjoying Maryland blue crabs. "With the advent of overnight shipping and improvements in packaging, we can keep home sick folks from the east coast freshly supplied, and that does make for a happy holiday".

All the sudden attention has not gone unnoticed at the register. "We've had a 400 percent increase in sales for two years in a row." What used to be a Maryland tradition has now become a nationwide phenomenon." What's more, last November, a typically slow month for crab sales, turned into one of the biggest sales months of the year. "I think with the advent of the internet, we're seeing more people gaining access to the types of foods they want, when they want them," Engle continues. Asked if he could envision the day when crabs shared equal billing with turkey and ham, Engle hesitated. "I'm not sure I want to work as many hours as the man in the red suit that time of year." But with sales continuing to spike each holiday, Engle may have no choice. His advice? "If you have a grinch on your holiday list, give them a case of crabs."

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Phillip Davis
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