Cameron’s Seafood — Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

The "Best Sellers Sampler'' from Cameron's Seafood.

The “Best Sellers Sampler” from Cameron’s Seafood.

 

Time to get to work.

Time to get messy.

Time to get cracking.

Indeed it was when a “Best Sellers Sampler” showed up on my porch last week as a sample to try from Maryland-based Cameron’s Seafood.

The company was founded in 1985 and remains family-owned. It specializes in Maryland crabs from the Chesapeake Bay, where the climate is colder, thereby building up an extra layer of fat on the crabs that burrow into the mud during winter. For crab lovers, that means crabs with flesh that’s buttery, sweet and rich tasting.

The bountiful “Best Sellers Sampler” ($99.99) includes 1/2 a dozen Maryland blue crabs, 1 pound spiced shrimp, 2 crab cakes and 16 ounces of crab bisque.

Just heat up the bisque and sear the crab cakes in a little butter in a pan, and you’re good to go. The bisque is definitely pastier in body than I normally would prefer. The taste, however, is full of the sea with a little peppery finish. There are bite-size pieces of crab in it throughout, too.

The crab cakes arrive in little sealed plastic cups. Unmold them, and press them down slightly in a frying pan to sear.

The crab cakes arrive in little sealed plastic cups. Unmold them, and press them down slightly in a frying pan to sear.

The crab cakes are full of lump meat with just enough breadcrumbs to hold them together.

The shrimp and crabs are fully cooked, so you can enjoy them cold or reheated by steaming or roasting.

I ate the shrimp cold, and yes, you do have to peel them. They’re spiced, but mildly so.

You’ll also get your hands dirty when you eat the crabs. I’m used to much larger Dungeness crabs where you don’t have to work so hard to extract the flesh. With smaller blue crabs, you’ll have to poke and prod a little harder, especially with the skinnier legs, but it’s worth it once you get a taste of the tender, fluffy meat.

Prepare to get messy with peel-and-eat shrimp.

Prepare to get messy with peel-and-eat shrimp.

Get the mallets at the ready.

Get the mallets at the ready.

The crabs are plenty spicy. They are also very salty, especially if you eat them cold. I ended up rinsing them in water to wash off some of the salt. Even doing that, you could still taste the peppery seasonings plenty, as they do permeate the flesh. If you steam the crabs, the saltiness will probably be mitigated somewhat by the water in the pot.

With some crusty bread, the sampler is definitely enough for two to three to enjoy.

Cameron’s just started offering home delivery last year. Just think, a taste of the Maryland shore — no matter where you live.

For $10 off your first order, click here.

FOOD GAL CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a “Best Sellers Sampler,” courtesy of Cameron’s Seafood.

Entries, limited to those residing in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST May 5. The winner will be announced May 7.

How to win?

You’ve already learned that eating this seafood feast requires a bit of work. Tell me the best lesson you’ve learned over the years from the work that you do. Most memorable answer wins.

Here’s my own:

“Sitting around the Christmas table one year, my older brothers and I recounted how each of us as teenagers worked a summer or two at my Dad’s employer’s offices to earn extra spending money. It was tedious work to be sure — filing receipts and alphabetizing papers, day after day. It was definitely a job where you couldn’t help but watch the clock or find yourself daydreaming, anything to help pass the time. One of my brothers and I did the job handily, finishing the work at hand, often faster than the boss expected. But my other brother apparently filled the hours by doing the least amount of work possible, a move that landed him in hot water with both my Dad and my Dad’s boss. As we reminisced about those days at the dinner table, my proficient brother said in conclusion, ‘It almost takes more effort to do nothing than it does to do the actual work itself. So why not just do the work?’ Bingo. It made me realize that’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learn in life — that it really doesn’t require that much more exertion to do a job well than to do it half-baked. So why not do it the best you can to reap so much more satisfaction in the end?”

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6 comments

  • Oooh, crab boil! Love getting messy with seafood. And really love those restaurants where they put newspaper down on the table, then dump a mess of crab and shrimp on it, and let everyone go to it. 🙂 Sounds like this is a great way to duplicate that experience at home — thanks for the heads up!

  • The best lesson I’ve learned over the years from working has to be to STAY HUMBLE. I started working in my parents’ dry cleaners at age 10 (typical immigrant story). I excelled in school and went to an amazing, picturesque private college and graduated already ahead of where my parents had gotten in education. However, they decided to have a career change and risk it all to move to LA from the quiet midwest and open up a clothing manufacturing business after much convincing from a family friend. They asked me to help and I moved out West with my fancy college degree only to find myself in a sweatshop situation, using my high school Spanish to communicate with our factory workers. At one point, I was turning fabric belts inside out and ironing them at 10pm and broke down. How could I be doing this “menial” labor when I had studied so much and so hard? But work is work. And for my parents to be successful, they needed to save those few pennies a belt and put me to work. In the end, my parents realized this was a toxic, horrible business where you could only make money by cheating others and they gave it all up and their life savings to move back to the Midwest. I have moved on to desk jobs since then, more “worthy” of my college degree but I remain humbled by all and any work that people do and teach my children to appreciate all those who support businesses – from the people who clean up their floors at schools to the server who hands them their fancy bobas. Stay humble because anyone who is working has a story behind them.

  • I have always worked in the non-profit sector, universities, organizations, foundations, but I currently work for a foundation. I head the “animal well-being initiative” and we are currently striving to make our state a more humane place for animals. Though I grew up on a farm, I currently do not own any pets (I have a one and three year old… no pets until both are potty trained) and my degrees were not focused on animals. So let’s just say I have learned a lot about animals.
    My story relates to preplanning and knowing that animals really are animals, no matter how cute or small. A few years back we held an event to launch a rescue truck that would help animals in times of tornadoes, floods, etc. Anyway, at the event two animal organizations brought animals for those attending to adopt. Unfortunately, no one made the attempt to clarify what animals would be brought. One group brought dogs, and you guessed it, the other cats. Though the event was outside, it was the loudest meeting I have attended. No animal was hurt but there was a lot of hissing and gnashing of teeth. I learned that in the future specify the animal species to invite to events.

  • Short and sweet: know your worth. I work in retail and my mother has been working as either a housekeeper or a caregiver almost her whole entire adult life. Not once has she complained or felt ashamed of her profession. She does her job with dignity, but knows that as a capable, hardworking, intelligent woman, she deserves adequate respect and monetary compensation. My mother never shies away from asserting herself to her employers and because of this and her confidence, they have not only respected her worth in every way possible, but most have become dear friends of hers. I recently felt overworked and underappreciated at my retail job and thought of my mother, what she would do. So with trepidation ringing through every cell in my body, I made my way to my director’s office and gingerly knocked on the door. Once we started talking, the fear dissipated. I felt confident, comfortable, and knew my self-worth. To my excitement, my director agreed with me and not only did I get a raise(not much, but it’s a start), but I also got a promotion! I plan on keeping my confidence and being very aware of my worth so that eventually, I can make enough money to enjoy my own bounty of seafood at any and all times(seafood is my favorite). But for now, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to win some great fresh crabs and shrimp and share with my awesome wonder- mom !

  • The best lesson I have learned over the years from the work that I do, stay positive. One example, I had been told as a child, that because of a bone disorder, I would never walk after one of my surgeries. Well, for two years, I didn’t, but, I always believed that I would. I spent two years in a crippled children’s hospital and came home walking. The doctors again, said, it wouldn’t continue, but it did. Most days there was some pain, but I continued being active. I joined sport activities in school and kept on walking. There were bad days, but, I wanted to be independent. After getting married, I visited 11 doctors, whom all told me I could never have have children, one suggested I should try. My son is now 25 years old. I never listen to doctors, they have been wrong, however, I have pushed myself so much, that it is now a bit more difficult to walk and the pain can be bad, but, I am forever grateful for my blessings. I walk with crutches now, no big deal though. I have a wonderful family that supports me. I feel that if I had given up, my whole life would have be different.

  • The best lesson I’ve learned is to treat the people you work with (and for) with the same respect that you expect from them.

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