Mention dining out in Ocean City MD and chances are the first question you’ll hear is, “How’s the crab soup?” Anyone who knows this area knows their crab soup – and their favorite, be it red or white. This event, in its fourth year, called the “White Marlin Festival & Crab Soup Cook-off “ is really all about sampling and then determining the soup-making prowess of the entrants – who is currently making and consequently serving the BEST in town? Although taste is subjective this is a serious competition – chefs and recipes do change! This year 10 contestants vied for 2008 braggin’ honors, the three in the “red” category were loaded with fresh crab, vegetables (the best of the locally grown, in season) and spices. The seven remaining entries were the “whites”, containing fresh, sweet lump crab gently folded into an appropriately seasoned, rich cream base. Sherry along with other secret ingredients are sometimes added to make that special difference. We attendees cheerfully paid our fee (a reasonable, $12) and were given a paper numbered 1 – 10 along with two tickets with which to vote for the “best red” and “best white” soup at the end of our tastings. We then proceeded to the appropriately numbered tent and were given a generous sample – and sample we did – ’til we were very full! Some of the cups were rimmed with lemon and Old Bay giving the soup an even greater “shore style” flavor! And, yes, there were some community exhibits, face painting and clowns for the kids – even some lively music in the background but the Crab Soup Cook-off contest was surely the reason for the day! This festival is sponsored each year by the Downtown Association and is conveniently located just steps from the Boardwalk in the Somerset Street Plaza. For more information phone 410-289-1413 or visit the website at www.downtownassociation.net. Note: To enlarge any photo, just “click”!