Innovation #8: Handy Seafood Sets Criteria for Frozen Seafood Appetizers

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Born on the Chesapeake and Trusted Worldwide. Handy Seafood is America’s first seafood processor to celebrate 125 years.

Handy’s Salmon Pastry Bite with hand tied pandan leaf

I love developing appetizers at Handy. We use fresh ingredients every day, from fresh crabs and oysters in our backyard to locally sourced vegetables, spices and herbs

Handy Seafood, the oldest seafood processing company in the United States, is the first to reach 125 years of age. Handy is celebrating this milestone achievement by highlighting products developed throughout the years. Handy’s August innovation focuses on the appetizers that have redefined frozen foods.

Handy had their first start with frozen appetizers 15 years ago when they developed the mini crab cake for a customer. The innovative criteria used to produce the mini crab cake later became the standard for all Handy appetizers to follow.

First and foremost, Handy starts with fresh local seafood as the main protein. Their mini crab cakes contain only fresh steamed crab meat, never pasteurized, for the ultimate flavor experience. Handy doesn’t stop here in their use of fresh ingredients. The breaded oysters are made from East Coast Oysters right out the Chesapeake Bay. Watermen bring fresh oysters right to the dock at their plant in Crisfield, Maryland, then the oysters are shucked and breaded at that same plant.

Aside from using fresh shrimp in the Crispy Shrimp Wraps, the sauce inside that delicate pastry shell is even made from locally sourced ingredients. “I love developing appetizers at Handy. We use fresh ingredients every day, from fresh crabs and oysters in our backyard to locally sourced vegetables, spices and herbs,” stated Barton Dewing CRC©, Director of Culinary Development at Handy Seafood.

All Handy appetizers are free from added preservatives so you will not need a chemistry degree to read Handy’s ingredient list. Handy had an exclusive mayonnaise made without preservatives for their mini crab cakes.

The last step is that handmade appearance Handy is known for. “Hand” is in their name. They start each recipe in small batches to ensure consistent quality during production and then hand-scoop and hand-form each mini crab cake for that authentic look.

Today, Handy provides over 20 appetizers for retailers and operators around the world ranging from mini crab cakes, shrimp wraps, salmon power bites and breaded oysters to name a few. Handy set a new standard for ready-to-cook appetizers by combining the freshest ingredients and trendy flavor profiles all with a handmade appearance. Whether you are entertaining your family and friends or offering your restaurant customers with a back of the house appetizer, Handy appetizers are guaranteed to impress guests and taste buds. To learn more, visit

Handy Seafood is a family-owned company with 125 years of quality seafood processing. Products include soft shell crabs, crab meat, crab cakes, seafood specialty items, oysters and artisanal fish.

To view previous Handy innovations, go to:

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Maureen Johnson
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