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It’s Cromer Crab & Lobster Festival 2018 this weekend

PUBLISHED: 18:00 14 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:18 15 May 2018

The East Coast pirates at the Crab and Lobster Festival at Cromer in 2017. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The East Coast pirates at the Crab and Lobster Festival at Cromer in 2017. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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All you need to know about this year’s festival, plus a tasty recipe from Galton Blackiston.

When you think of crabs, there’s only one place your mind can take you – Cromer.

The seaside town, perched at the tip of the north Norfolk coast, is synonymous with the crustaceans, and Cromer has become famous internationally for them, with food writers, chefs and restaurateurs quick to share their love for the creatures.

It is, say local fishermen, the clear waters and flinty sea bottom around the coastline here that create idyllic living conditions for crabs, which are often caught in muddy, murky shores – giving them the most utterly delicious sweet taste that cannot be bettered.

In celebration of the humble Cromer crab, this weekend seeds the Cromer Crab & Lobster Festival begin in earnest, paving the way for an auction and the World Crabbing Competition in August.

Being held across both Cromer and Sheringham, most of the festival action can be found at Evington Gardens on Runton Road in Cromer.

On Saturday from 10am more than 50 craft, food and drink producers will be on site, alongside a raft of entertainers.

Woodfordes Brewery is hosting a live cookery theatre at the festival on both days from 11am. Saturday’s line-up includes Andy Snowling, Julies and John Davies of Davies Fish Shop, Simon Hunter Marsh, Icarus Hines, Charlie Hodson and Germain from the Red Lion Hotel. On Sunday watch Daniel Frear, Simon Hunter Marsh, Ade Piff, Roger Hickman and Jimmy Preston of No1 Cromer.

Alongside these attractions will be rope and crab pot making, a crab lucky dip from 10.30am, and an evening marquee on Saturday night from 6.30pm with music from Tom, Dick and Harry, and street food from Hot Rocket Pizza, The Duck Truck and others.

Think you’ve got what it takes to make the ultimate crab sarnie? Why not enter the Annual Cromer Crab Sandwich Competition? Contact Phillip at Henry’s Café in Cromer to register your interest, then bring your sandwich to the main festival tent at 2pm on the Sunday.

If you can’t wait until the weekend to enjoy all the crab goodness, try making this recipe from crab-lover Galton Blackiston.

Galton’s crab toasties with potato-wrapped quails’ eggs

(serves 4)

For the potato-wrapped eggs:

8 quails’ eggs

1 large Maris Piper potato, peeled

1 litre vegetable oil, for frying

sea salt & black pepper

For the toasties:

100g white crab meat

50g cream cheese

2 tbsp mayonnaise

15g breadcrumbs

1 tsp soy sauce

1 pinch of cayenne pepper

sea salt & black pepper

1 small loaf sourdough bread, thinly sliced diagonally

Method

To make the potato-wrapped eggs, bring a small pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Lower in the eggs and boil for two minutes 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and refresh immediately under cold running water. When cold, peel the eggs and set aside in a bowl of cold water.

Bring another pan of salted water to the boil. Using a spiraliser make long strands of potato string out of the potato. Drop the potato strings into the boiling water and blanch for two minutes. Refresh immediately under cold running water and drain thoroughly. Lay out on kitchen paper and pat dry.

To make the toasties, preheat the oven to 180C. Pick over the crab meat and remove any small pieces of shell. Soften the cream cheese at room temperature, then mix together with the mayonnaise and crab meat. Add the breadcrumbs and soy sauce and season with cayenne pepper, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lightly toast four slices of sourdough bread, then spread the crab mix evenly on the bread. Place on a baking tray, and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

While the toasties are in the oven, heat the oil in a deep fat fryer to 180C. Wrap the potato strings around the quails’ eggs, so that they are totally covered, then lower them into the fryer. Fry for two minutes until the potato is crisp and golden all over. Remove from the fryer, and drain on kitchen paper. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve the crab toasties straight from the oven with the potato-wrapped eggs.


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