“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Fish „
I love seafood, and am particularly partial to crab meat, using it in a lot of dishes. I have to admit, I've never actually cooked with fresh crab- I'm assuming it would be quite pricey (feel free to enlighten me if I'm wrong!), so I always gravitate towards the can aisle in the supermarket when I'm after my favourite crustacean.
There are usually several brands to choose from, and I've tried them all at some point. Surprisingly this Tesco version isn't usually the cheapest option, being pipped to the post by Princes. However, it's currently on offer at just £1, making it considerably cheaper than its neighbours on the shelf. Never one to turn my nose up at a bargain, I snapped up several tins of it, and used the first last night for a crab sauce to go with the salmon I was cooking.
This crab comes in brine- I've yet to find a tinned crab that doesn't- and therefore its salt content is on the high side; half of the 170g tin contains 15% of your RDA. But that's the only bad news (nutritionally, at least) about eating crab meat. It's low in fat and calories, and is considerably healthier than most other forms of protein. It also happens to be incredibly tasty, a rare combination!
On opening the tin, the first thing I noticed about the white crab meat inside was that it was quite broken down; in other words, the meat wasn't in solid, separate lumps like it is in some tins. This didn't really matter to me- I was using it in a sauce, so it would all have broken up anyway. But perhaps it's something to bear in mind if you're after something that'll hold its shape a bit more.
The brine drained out very easily, leaving me with a can full of pure, fluffy crab meat. Scraping this out into the pan, I was pleased to see that it didn't have a paper circle stuck to it, like some brands do. This can be a faff to peel off the bottom of the crab, although I think it does help to absorb some of the brine.
The sauce was delicious, and I was pleased to see that the crab meat had a good flavour to it, without being salty or overpowering. Its almost mushy consistency made it perfect for use in the sauce, but I would be a bit concerned about using this in a more solid dish- it's already so broken down that it really wouldn't have much meatiness to it, particularly if you were going to cook it for any longer than a minute or two.
I was very pleased with this crab meat, and felt like I'd got a great bargain with it. I wouldn't say it's superior to the other brands I've tried, but it's certainly not inferior either. Its consistency makes it particularly suitable for use in soft dishes or sauces, although it does mean that it loses any meaty texture, so for that reason, I've taken 1 star off.