SNOW CRAB, also known as queen or spider crab, is popular on the west coast and is found from Alaska to Mexico. The vast majority of snow crab that is harvested come from Alaska, Japan and the Atlantic coast of Canada and Maine. They have long slender legs and a hard rounded shell. The life span of the snow crab is about 14 years. In the United States only males may be marketed commercially.
There are 2 types of snow crab sold on the market, the opilio and the bairdi. The opilio, which is the most important commercially, is found in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean. The bairdi which is also known as tanner crab is harvested mostly in the Bering sea . The bairdi is the larger of the two varieties. It averages about 5 pounds and 3 feet tip to tip. The opilio weight is a little over one pound. It’s about 6 inches across the back and 2 ½ feet from tip to tip. Snow crab is usually sold as cooked legs, claws, clusters or body meat. It is sold both in or out of the shell. The cooked body meat is white and the leg meat, which is the best eating, is white and bright red.
For information on different ways of preparing snow crab, click on the following link. HOW TO COOK SNOW CRAB