Friday May 17, 2013 | 04:48 PM

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Unlike, say asparagus, or oysters, which used to be available only at a certain time of the year but can now be enjoyed year ‘round, soft shell crabs have a definite season. For a fleeting few weeks in late spring, the blue crabs of the mid-Atlantic shed their shells, leaving them soft enough to eat whole. Although they are not native to Maine, soft shell crabs are such a treat that local chefs are featuring them now, for as long as they last. Here is where you can find them, in limited quantities, on specials menus in Portland this weekend.

Po Boy's and Pickles - In a po'boy, of course.

Back Bay Grill - Beer battered soft shells with mint and basil pesto; cucumber, chili and garlic remoulade

Miyake - Deep fried soft shells with rocket and pinenut salad, campagnola sauce

The Farmer's Table - Tempura fried

Eventide Oyster Co. - Yeast battered and deep fried soft shells with bonito aioli, ginger-scallion sauce and housemade ramp kimchi

Fore Street - Pan-fried cornmeal crusted soft shells with wild mushrooms, Bibb lettuce and tarragon yogurt sauce

Grace - Crispy soft shells with pickled cabbage, mango, jalapeno and mint.

About the Author

Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.

Meredith can be contacted at 791-6332 or mgoad@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @meredithgoad


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