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Maryland Official Sandwich Designation: Smooth-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 address final week outlined an formidable plan for this yr’s state legislature, including a ban on assault weapons, repealing the dying penalty, and developing offshore wind power. The governor didn’t, nevertheless, deal with a scorching battle within the Maryland senate over a extra tender concern — naming an official state sandwich.

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

The proposed regulation is proving controversial. Debate began 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 said, adding that because the entire crab is fried and placed onto a bun — legs, claws and all — “you will be 99% sure that it got here 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, adding that “these ladies on Smith Island have a serious business.”

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

It wasn’t way back that this identical body considered naming the Smith Island Cake because the state dessert, which some may have additionally thought frivolous.

However I ask you to consider the economic impression of that laws: you raised common awareness not only throughout the state however effectively beyond its borders. Larger consciousness typically translates to higher demand, and actually, there are bakers in the lower shore space which have reported a doubling or tripling of gross sales after the official designation.

Crabs, obviously, aren’t cakes, but the watermen who farm and harvest mushy shells from Maryland’s waters are producing a unique product, indigenous to Maryland.

Sen. Colburn advised the Baltimore Solar in December that whereas the crab cake sandwich could have seemed like a more obvious selection for state sandwich, “The delicate-crab is extra distinctive to Maryland,” he mentioned. “This is able to truly assist the seafood business.”

Those opposed to the designation — which has not been scheduled for a vote, in keeping with Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore), Chair of the Education, Well being, and Environmental Affairs Committee — also sofa their arguments a minimum of partly in terms of economics.

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

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

As a matter of principle, Younger says he will refuse to cast a vote on the bill.
With a purpose to win over his colleagues, Miller brought with him to the committee hearing 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 said in jest, “Bribery works every time.”

Miller jokingly responded, “I’m a Prince George’s Democrat,” alluding to former Prince George’s County Executive Jack B. Johnson and his spouse, Leslie Johnson, a former Prince George’s County Council member, who had been arrested and found responsible on corruption and bribery fees in 2010. (Though dessert appears not to have been implicated in those offenses.)

In addition to the state sandwich, the committee also listened to arguments on other state designations, including the creation of an Irish-American Historical past Month, German-American Historical past Month, Maryland Emancipation Day, Young Heroes Day, a Youth Political Awareness Day, a Maryland Centenarians Day and a Uncommon Disease Day.

Here is the full list of official Maryland state symbols:
Fowl – Baltimore Oriole
Boat – Skipjack
Cat – Calico Cat
Crustacean – Blue Crab
Dessert – Smith Island Cake
Dinosaur – Astrodon johnstoni
Dog – Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Drink – Milk
Exercise – Strolling
Fish – Rockfish (striped bass)
Flower – Black-Eyed Susan
People Dance – Sq. 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 boutique stone island Oak
Seal
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Should Maryland designate the comfortable-shell crab sandwich as its official state sandwich Ought to Maryland choose one other sandwich No sandwich in any respect Tell us within the comments!

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