“ Brand: Faringdon / Type: Other Kitchenware „
When I was a kid and used to help my Dad with DIY, he used to tell me that to do a job well you needed the correct tools. I never followed his advice regarding DIY and always used anything I could get my hands on to decorate or repair broken items. My artistic expressions have always been fun and wacky throughout my life so as long as the walls and furniture look attractive and funky even if they are hand painted, I am happy.
Cooking and my kitchen are another story. I like to have the proper tools for the job and this is where my crab crackers come in handy, well, I have more than one pair because when you invite someone around to dinner and serve crab, lobster or any shellfish it is a good idea for each guest to have a pair of crackers each.
Now, I don't serve crab very often, I did when I lived in the sun because I could go along to the fish market and buy fresh crab to cook but in Warsaw I usually buy frozen King Crab legs and then reheat the legs by steaming, boiling or baking. These methods don't take long before you are ready to serve the legs with a bowl of hot garlic butter and a touch of chilli sauce. To reach the delicious sweet, tender white meat you use a pair of Faringdon crackers. I do have other designs in plastic but prefer this design by Faringdon.
For the life of me I can't find out any company information on Faringdon except that they have over 1,000 kitchen utensils for sale. You can buy their products from Amazon or from Wiki shop.co.uk or from Auravita.com. I do have a couple of other items; a corkscrew and a four sided grater made by the same manufacturer and recommend both.
The pair of crackers are made from cast aluminium, dimensions are: 14cm/5 ½ ins high, 5.5cm/2 ¼ins wide, 1cm/ ½ ins deep. They look very similar to a pair of nutcrackers and some people do use nutcrackers to crack open their shellfish.
~~~What do the crackers do?~~~
These hinged crackers help access the soft tender meat inside lobster or crab. You can eat crab meat like I have mentioned above but there are also some recipes like crab cakes and various salads that need loose cooked crabmeat. The metal teeth along the inner wall provide a secure grip when cracking hard shells. You can do this with a hammer or a mallet but it creates a mess and I think a pair of crackers does a professional job without the mess.
The hinge can be adjusted to various thicknesses so you are able to crack small and large lobsters, crabs.
I find the size fits comfortably in my hand and the weight is perfect for the job. Children aged 10 and older are quite capable of using these crackers and in my experience seem to manage easily to access meat from the shell and legs without any fuss. The key is to hold the crackers in the correct place so gentle pressure can be added to get prime results. You don't have to use force.
~~~How to use when cracking crab legs~~~
I am sure many cooks have their own special way of cracking crab legs but this is the way my old chef taught me in the Algarve.
1) You need two hands to do the job properly. With one hand hold the leg of the crab at the base and place the crab crackers around the area where the claw joins the leg with your other hand.
2) Squeeze the crab crackers gently and slowly, you will hear a cracking sound. This is when the claw breaks away from the leg and the area is opened to expose the flesh.
3) Extract the meat from the leg with a small pick especially made for the job or a small fork similar to a dessert fork with two prongs.
I bought my crackers online from Auravita.com, price was £2.99 a couple of years ago now. They are easy to wash in soapy water, I use a scourer on the teeth. I believe you can put them in a dishwasher.
There you go - now you can tuck in to sweet, succulent crab meat. Have plenty of serviettes handy and bowls of lemon juice and hot water to clean sticky fingers! It's a lot of fun eating crab and Faringdon's crab crackers make the job a lot easier.