Fans are legion for traditional crab cakes, steamed crab legs and crabmeat salads. Yet some casual restaurant operators can't resist fiddling with the sweet-tasting crustacean. They tempt novelty seekers with such culinary tricks as dunking crab legs in hot oil and dusting them with Mexican spices and encasing crab cakes in pretzel sticks. Although consumption of crab doubled between 1991 and 2005, the most recent year for which figures are available, that nets out to just .64 pound ...

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