The pumpkin spice crabcake, bound to be controversial. Photo courtesy of Jimmy's Famous Seafood

Pumpkin Spice Crabcakes: Would you Try One?

You’ve seen the tofu crabcake Bay Bulletin reported on last week. Now here’s another one designed to push the envelope. One of the Chesapeake region’s top crabcake sellers has just added pumpkin spice crabcakes to its menu.

Jimmy’s Famous Seafood in southeast Baltimore, which also ships steamed crabs, crabcakes, and other seafood nationwide, is offering the crabcake made with pureed pumpkin and fall spices and served with a sage tartar sauce. If this piques your interest, you can order it online for $41.

Tony Minadakis, chef & co-owner of Jimmy’s, says he’s been sitting on the idea for awhile, and his team went through 10 different variations before coming up with the pumpkin spice recipe.

“It’s what you think it would taste like, but it actually holds a pretty savory note to where the sweetness doesn’t overpower the crabcake itself. You still get the Old Bay, you still get the mustard, you still get a lot of crab in there that’s not overly powered with anything sweet.” 

But Minadakis knows full well there will likely be mixed reaction to this menu item.

To this who say you can’t put pumpkin with crabmeat, he says, “It’s like when you go to Starbucks: if you’re not a fan of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, you just get a regular coffee and go about your business.”

Pumpkin or plain, crabcakes come at a cost this year. Minadakis says the restaurant is paying 2.5 times what they were paying last year. A six-ounce crabcake goes for $30, an eight-ouncer goes for $40. But Jimmy’s has no plans to cut back on the number of crab dishes they offer. In a notice at the top of their website, the restaurant writes, “Our menu prices have recently increased due the international crabmeat shortage which has decimated our industry. As a family-owned business, we take great pride in our transparency and quality. We refuse to cut corners, and it is our full intention & belief that this inconvenience will be temporary. We thank you for your patience, loyalty, and understanding.”

The pumpkin spice crabcake is available now on Jimmy’s Famous Seafood’s seasonal menu.

Cheryl Costello & Meg Walburn Viviano