The blue crab is a mottled blue-green crab about 20 cm (8”) across with blue claws. It is found on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of North America and from France to Denmark in Europe. During its moult it sheds its hard shell and exists for a time in a soft-shelled state, allowing it to grow. In this state is caught and prepared to be eaten whole. We once gathered with friends around a table at Obrickis in Baltimore, with a heap of blue soft-shelled crabs piled onto the paper tablecloth and a collection of hammers. The flavours and the general chaos were wonderful.