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Maryland Official Sandwich Designation: Tender-Shell Crab Sandwich Debate Begins To Boil

Maryland lawmakers are getting crabby about sandwiches.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s (D) State of the State deal with last week outlined an ambitious plan for this yr’s state legislature, including a ban on assault weapons, repealing the dying penalty, and developing offshore wind energy. The governor didn’t, nonetheless, handle a scorching battle within the Maryland senate over a extra tender challenge — naming an official state sandwich.

Maryland Senate Bill 26, proposed in late December and introduced in January by Sen. Richard F. Colburn (R-Dorchester), would title the mushy-shell crab sandwich as the official state sandwich of Maryland, effective October 1, 2013.

The proposed legislation is proving controversial. Debate started to heat up on Thursday when Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. (D-Calvert) testified in favor of the bill he is co-sponsoring at a committee hearing.

“This is unique to Maryland,” Miller mentioned, including that because your complete crab is fried and placed onto a bun — legs, claws and all — “you could be ninety nine% sure that it came from Maryland.”

Whereas Miller admitted that the delicacy is “in all probability the ugliest sandwich in the historical past of the world,” he made his argument about economics, citing the elevated demand for Smith Island cake after it was named the official state dessert in 2008, including that “these ladies on Smith Island have a significant trade.”

Dan Patrell, the editor and publisher of Maryland Life magazine, said in written testimony that the designation is “not a frivolous act”:

It wasn’t way back that this similar body thought-about naming the Smith Island Cake as the state dessert, which some might have additionally thought frivolous.

Crabs, obviously, are usually not cakes, but the watermen who farm and harvest tender shells from Maryland’s waters are producing a singular product, indigenous to Maryland.

Sen. Colburn informed the Baltimore Solar in December that whereas the crab cake sandwich might have appeared like a more obvious choice for state sandwich, “The comfortable-crab is extra unique to Maryland,” he stated. “This would actually help the seafood trade.”

Those opposed to the designation — which has not been scheduled for a vote, in accordance with Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore), Chair of the Training, Well being, and Environmental Affairs Committee — also couch their arguments at the very least partly by way of economics.

Sen. Ron Younger (D-Frederick) stated that if demand for the sandwich went up, so too would prices and availability. “I need to have the ability to get a smooth-shell crab sandwich,” he said, “there’s a limited number of delicate shells.”

Young finds the classification of a state sandwich to be a frivolous endeavor and believes Maryland already has too many official symbols. “I think it is a joke. I feel it is ridiculous,” he mentioned. There are 23 official state symbols in all. These include a state dinosaur – the herbivorous Astrodon johnstoni – and a state train – walking, which was designated in 2008, the final time an official designation was made. (The full list of official Maryland designations is included at the bottom of the story).

As a matter of principle, Young says he will refuse to cast a vote on the bill.

With a view to win over his colleagues, Miller introduced with him to the committee listening to a Smith Island cake. After Miller took the cake over to Sen. Ed Reilly (R-Anne Arundel) and Sen. Bryan Simonaire (R-Anne Arundel), Reilly mentioned in jest, “Bribery works each time.”

Miller jokingly responded, “I am a Prince George’s Democrat,” alluding to former Prince George’s County Govt Jack B. Johnson and his spouse, Leslie Johnson, a former Prince George’s County Council member, who had been arrested and located guilty on corruption and bribery charges in 2010. (Though dessert seems not to have been implicated in these offenses.)

In addition to the state sandwich, the committee additionally listened to arguments on other state designations, together with the creation of an Irish-American Historical past Month, German-American History Month, Maryland Emancipation Day, Younger Heroes Day, a Youth Political Consciousness Day, a Maryland Centenarians Day and a Rare Disease Day.

This is the full checklist of official Maryland state symbols:

Fowl – Baltimore Oriole
Boat – Skipjack
Cat – Calico Cat
Crustacean – Blue Crab
Dessert – Smith Island Cake
Dinosaur – Astrodon johnstoni
Canine – Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Drink – Milk
Train – Strolling
Fish – Rockfish (striped bass)
Flower – Black-Eyed Susan
People Dance – Square Dance
Fossil Shell – Ecphora gardnerae gardnerae (Wilson)
Gem – Patuxent River Stone
Horse – Thoroughbred Horse
Insect – Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly
Reptile – Diamondback Terrapin
Sport – Jousting
Workforce Sport – Lacrosse
State Theaters – Center Stage & Olney Theatre
Tree – White Oak

Ought to Maryland designate the delicate-shell crab sandwich as its official state sandwich? Should Maryland select one Garment-Dyed Pigment Treated Pique Fleece Sweatshirt In Green other sandwich? No sandwich in any respect? Tell us in the feedback!

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