Cumberland Times-News


January 3, 2013

A bit crabby

Md. official sandwich bill leaves bad taste in some mouths

When the Maryland General Assembly opens its annual 90-day legislative session next Wednesday, it will deal with a host of major issues — including capital punishment, transportation needs, gun control and alternative energy.

Then there is the question of what should be the official “state sandwich?”

Really. Legislation has already been pre-filed by Eastern Shore legislators to make the soft-shell crab sandwich Maryland's official state sandwich.

The measure has already provoked considerable angst among fans of the plain old crab cake sandwich. The Baltimore Sun said John Shields, owner of Gertrude’s restaurant in Baltimore, surveyed his customers and found little support for the soft-shell. “It’s amazing how many people don’t want (soft-shell) to be the sandwich,” he told the Sun.

Although some Marylanders might think designating an official sandwich is a waste of time, the bill’s sponsors — Sen. Richard F. Colburn (R-Dorchester) and Del. Rudolph C. Cane (D-Wicomico) — said the designation will be a boost for the Eastern Shore seafood business.

The state has many “official” emblems and designations, but few dealing with food. The Smith Island Cake became the official state dessert in 2008 and milk has long been an official state drink. On the other hand, there are a number of official state animals, including the state dog, Chesapeake Bay retriever; bird, Baltimore Oriole; crustacean, blue crab; and fish, rockfish.

There also is the official state cat — the calico — that received the official designation in 2001 after a group of Westernport elementary school students convinced Delegate Kevin Kelly to introduce a bill proclaiming the calico Maryland’s official cat. The legislature concurred and the calico now reigns as Maryland’s top cat.

But Colburn, who now is pushing the soft-shell crab sandwich, voted against the calico when Kelly introduced the bill. “I never thought we needed a state cat. I voted against it, and my wife didn’t talk to me for a week. She loves cats,” Colburn told the Washington Post.

Will Kelly seek payback by voting against the soft-shell crab sandwich? It’s just a bit of the intrigue facing lawmakers when they return to the capital next week.


Text Only
  • Street flowers Street flowers

    Walk along Frostburg’s Main Street in the spring and summer and one can’t miss the beautiful floral arrangements that adorn the lampposts.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • First base First base

    The idea of spending up to $7,500 for a study about the possibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area should at least be allowed to reach first base.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restore them Restore them

    There are an estimated 47,000 deceased veterans whose remains are unidentified and unclaimed throughout the U.S. A group of senators and congressmen hope to do something to
    bring these men and women some dignity after death.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Support the March for Babies May 3 at Canal Place

    At the March of Dimes, we promise to work tirelessly toward the day when all babies are born healthy.
    The March of Dimes has worked for more than 75 years to help babies get a healthy start in life.

    April 20, 2014

  • Happy Easter

    For the world’s more than 2 billion Christians, Easter is the day that defines their faith.
    The exact date of Christ’s resurrection is unknown, and even the precise locations of his crucifixion and burial are uncertain. This hasn’t stopped some people from saying they know the answer to these questions and others from trying to find out for themselves, or simply arguing about it.

    April 20, 2014

  • We concur We concur

    We’re certain that Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, echoes what many Americans feel about the complexity of filing income tax returns.
    When he filed his return, Rumsfeld sent the following letter to the Internal Revenue Service:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Library week

    Public libraries remain one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars. They are open to all. Young or old, poor or wealthy, residents can use computers and read current magazines and newspapers. Compact discs featuring a wide variety of music and
    movies on DVD may be checked out in addition to novels and other books.

    April 13, 2014

  • Sunday hunting Sunday hunting

    Legislation that increases hunting oppportunities on Sundays in Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties has passed the Maryland General Assembly and reached the governor’s desk.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo