Cromer Crab Festival gets under way –

Cromer Crab Festival gets under way Published:  20 May, 2011

BRITAIN’S  largest shellfish celebration gets under way this weekend.

The 2011 Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival on the North Norfolk Coast opens tonight on Cromer Pier with traditional fishing and seafaring songs.

The thee-day event is only the second in the history of the two shellfish centres, but it represents an area of the country which has been famous for its crabs and other shellfish for over a century. Cromer crabs are considered by seafood gourmets to be among the finest in Europe.

In particular they are known for their tender flesh, and high proportion of white meat to dark. The fleet has reduced to about a dozen boats in recent years, looking after about 200 crab pots, meaning that it is even more of a specialty.

As with many seafood festivals, fish cookery also remains a key part of the weekend  with a host of well-known and local chefs lending their support and cooking up dozens of dishes in the two towns. The annual crabbing competition makes a return to Cromer Pier on Sunday and many street events have been organised.

The Crab and Lobster Festival was held for the first time in 2010 and was such a success with visitors and locals alike that it was decided to repeat it. This year’s event is being trailed as a “feast of fun, food, art, music and entertainment”.

The aims of the festival are to involve people who live and work in the shellfish trade locally, as well as  helping foster a real sense of community  and fun and raising money for local charities.

The event has drawn sponsorship from many big names in the  seafood business including the Cromer Crab Company, now part of the Seafood Group, Clearwater Seafoods of Canada and the Orkney Fishermen’s Society.