When being crabby is good

Pinch us! Soft-shell crab season is here.

Warmer weather and a corresponding rise in the seawater temperature have created the right conditions for young female crabs to shed their shells and, in a soft state, become almost entirely edible. This spring delicacy is sweet eating, indeed.

But don't delay. The time is fleeting, lasting only a few weeks at best.

"They seem to be plentiful but a little late," says Joanie Cooksey of Crosby's Fish & Shrimp Co. on Folly Road. "I'm hoping to have them at least until the first of May."

Look for soft shells at select seafood markets and restaurants, where they are likely to be featured as specials. Or consider a day trip Saturday to Port Royal's Old Village, which is holding its 7th Annual Soft Shell Crabfest noon-5 p.m. Admission is free, but tickets must be purchased for food and drinks.

Call 476-2666 for information or visit www.oldvillageportroyal.com and click on Festivities/Events.