Choosing and buying live crabs:
If you are planning on cooking the crab at home and eating it straight from the shell, it is best to buy live crabs, for a better taste. Frozen crabs can also be bought, although frozen fish or seafood never quite tastes the same.
Buy your crabs from a well-known and reputable fishmonger or as a second choice from a supermarket.
If you are buying from the latter, make sure to find out how long the crabs have been in the tank. If it is longer than a week, they should really be avoided.
Choose crabs that are lively and move about. They should smell fresh and salty, without any smell of fish and especially not ammonia.
Never buy crabs that are dead, as the meat goes off really quickly and will most definitely be bad when you cook it. Do not buy any crabs if the meat looks off colour or dried out.
If you are planning on preparing a crab dish following a recipe, check to see whether it specifies a male or female crab, as some recipes do. It is quite simple to differentiate between a male and female crab. The female crab has a triangle shaped area on the underneath part of the shell.